What does it really mean to “empower” a woman or girl? After several expeditions to Kenya, working with
women and families, we realized that empowerment to them means tools that help them get more done in
After several expeditions trying different projects, 100 Humanitarians International settled on what we like to call “The Core Four”. These four programs include Women Initiatives, Youth Education, Mentoring Families, and Training & Cultural Centers. On each expedition, we include something from each of The Core Four to continue moving forward in the promises we are making to ourselves, our organization, and the communities we work in.
Our projects are chosen by our Community Directors, who are in Kenya, and can guide and direct what needs to be done. We are so grateful and blessed to have them on our team, and could not do this work without them!
Christine Sakali is our Kenyan Director for our Women’s Initiatives Program. Along with Marissa Waldrop, her U.S. counterpart, the coordinate on all of our different sewing projects. We fundraise in the U.S. for the reusable feminine hygiene kits provided by Christine’s Days for Girls Enterprise in Kenya, so that we can keep the economy with her team of 12. The kits can provide up to 3 years of support for a girl on her period, and she is able to stay in school during menstruation. We also provide underwear, t-shirt bags, t-shirt dresses, rescue kits, first aid and sewing kits to girls at a rescue center we work with on each expedition.
Education is everything in Kenya. However, if a student graduates, there is no guarantee that they will get a job, or go on to University. We began supporting youth in education in 2016, and now have 25 current students and 3 graduates. The school year in Kenya is from January to October, with a two month break during November and December. That is a time in Kenya where girls are particularly vulnerable to female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage. We also bring select students on expeditions with us for a few days to allow them to pay it forward and work on projects with us.
At the core of what we do is the family. We believe that the best way to support a student as they are going through their education, is to mentor their family in self-reliance and economic development, so that they all progress together. We have worked with over 50 families in Kenya with our Business Box for Families program, and have taught stewardship and business skills along the way. Our Business Box for Families program can include a variety of things, but we always start with garden towers as a way of building our relationship with the family.
Training & Cultural Centers
From the beginning, we started planning to build training and cultural centers in Kenya, to provide a central location in each community to mentor and train families. We built a training center in 2018 in Bomet, thanks to the efforts of Jenn McMurdo and Anita Byegon. Currently, we are building a training center in Nkareta that is made out of “Earth Bags” and dirt. Our long range goal is to have four training centers that are an extension of the Emparnat Cultural Centre on the Maasai Mara.