Training Center for Women & Girls

Rafiki Africa Foundation strongly believes in the empowerment and potential of women & girls. If the women in Kenya are trained in skills that will help them find a job or start a business, they will be able to provide for their families.

These women can become change-makers who can help their communities thrive.

On the other hand, if women or girls do not possess skills to provide for their families, they become vulnerable to all kinds of injustices. Domestic violence, sex trafficking, death from preventable disease, starvation and early marriage are real daily dangers for girls and women in Kenya.

So, Rafiki is working to build a business and training center to provide opportunities for women and girls to learn skills that will enable them to obtain income for their families.

Currently, skills training is provided to a small group under the tree. The new building will provide a permanent place to house supplies and classrooms, and keep equipment safe. The center will enhance learning experiences and help Rafiki reach more women.

If you would like to travel to help launch this program or help with the construction of the building, please contact us.

UPDATE: see article [link]

Snapshots: Benta

This is a continuation of “Being a Friend to Kenya“, written by Jordan Bush, featured in the November 2012 issue of the Fine Living Lancaster magazine. View in the PDF version of the issue here.  You can find the article on page 142.

Benta is a mother of nine children, a grandmother to four, and is the first wife of Akuno, who currently has two spouses. Her oldest three daughters married when they were children, in a culture that readily chooses marriage for a fourth grade girl over an education. Their husbands cannot afford to support their children, so Benta has taken them into her home. Akuno is unfaithful, but he ignores Benta’s pleas so every six months Benta goes to an HIV clinic and waits for the result; still negative, though she believes it is only a matter of time until she tests positive for HIV. Akuno doesn’t see the connection between his unfaithfulness and the costly potential, as his personal actions have thus far gone without consequence.

Akuno tells Benta that she can go back where she came from if she isn’t happy, yet she has remained faithfully by her family’s side.

Benta lived a life entirely at the mercy of her husband. She existed as a second-class citizen, subject to physical and verbal abuse with no hope for independence. Today she works for Rafiki managing the farm, directing staff, and cooking amazing food. Benta is the sole provider in her growing household. She is also a member of Rafiki Women, a women’s empowerment program that provides life and agricultural skills, economic and spiritual support.

Benta has become self-aware, and is one of the few independent women in her culture who can stand up to her husband, rejecting violence and gaining equality.

She is among the most loyal, dedicated and courageous to be found anywhere, having an immensely driven work ethic and devotion to her family. Other women in the community are beginning to see the difference in Benta’s life and asking questions on how to start their own journey of empowerment. To support other women who are on this journey, volunteer with us or support our women’s program.

Read Snapshots: Meshack & George.

Snapshots: Evans

This is a continuation of “Being a Friend to Kenya”, written by Jordan Bush, featured in the November 2012 issue of the Fine Living Lancaster magazine. View in the PDF version of the issue here.  You can find the article on page 142.

Fifteen years ago, Evans was living as a paternal orphan with his mother and younger brother Wycliff.

Evans’ mother became ill in bed and hadn’t been seen for a week, so her brother came to check on her. When he asked Evans where his mother had gone, Evans told his uncle she was sick in bed, feeding the 18-month-old baby Wycliff. Evans’ uncle found his sister passed away in her own bed, where she had been for some time with her baby still attached to her breast.

Evans has mental retardation from malnutrition as a young boy, but despite his obstacles he is expected to graduate from vocational college for carpentry at the end of 2012.

He is one of Rafiki’s earliest and greatest successes at LightHouse Academy due to his accomplishments from first grade all the way through college. Rafiki also provided him with his own hut and helped raise him from about 5 years old into adulthood. Rafiki is presently working to build Evans a new hut after he graduates. Evans has faithful sponsors from Lancaster that provided the means of sending him to vocational school to master a trade to support himself as a adult.