Annual Celebration Dinner 2017

Our Annual Celebration Dinner on October 19, 2017 was excellent! We had a great time sharing food and fellowship, and hearing from our speaker Jonathan Coleman, of ASSETS Lancaster, about missions and colonialism and the things we can do to invest in locally smart, grassroots solutions that honor the local people and their wisdom, as well as empower them to change their situation.

We are so grateful to everyone that came out and all of the new and renewed commitments to Rafiki Africa. Our work wouldn’t be possible without excellent partners!

Dorothy also shared about a new social enterprise opportunity for the women’s program. Lemongrass grows quite easily in Kenya, and can be used for tea. Kenyan Chai Masala is also quite easy for the women to make. Dorothy is currently doing market research in the US to learn about what the demand would be for such a product. If you’re interested in partnering with that project, you can contact Dorothy through the form under the Contact tab.

During the dinner, we also shared a video with updates from 2017, which you can view below if you missed it.

Confronting Both Physical & Spiritual Poverty

A Note from Dorothy & Roger

Since January I (Roger) have been teaching Rafiki’s new class of women. Every day I get to hear about their troubles — abusive spouses, lack of food for their family, illness and deaths in the family, and much more. These women are very brave to step out of their cultural norm and look for a way to improve their lives.

Jesus modeled the way.

He had everything but gave it all up so we could experience life in abundance. He gave this life to all tribes and all nations, all mankind, including these women in my class. We need to confront social injustice, disease and other evils of our lifetime. But the most important is to confront spiritual poverty – the right to experience life in abundance and eternally through Jesus.

Every day as we walk and work in Alendu village, Rachuonyo District of Kenya, we have a higher calling – the opportunity to address both physical and spiritual poverty.

We have the opportunity to demonstrate Jesus’ love to everyone we encounter. To a grandmother with 11 orphans to care for; to a young woman abused by her spouse daily; and to the child down the street without a meal. They are all precious in his eyes.

What a privilege and a challenge! God’s grace has been sufficient daily. We are grateful for each one of you who is partnering in this mission. Together we can end physical and spiritual poverty to one child and one family at a time.

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.