This past month we had the joy of welcoming Jacinta, a Social Innovator working in Kenya and Tanzania, who visited us in Portland while traveling in the US. She shared many updates and stories with us about projects that may be familiar to you. A new class oftwelve students – young, single mothers and women at risk – are enrolled at Waliokumbukwa, learning sewing skills and receiving mentorship and healing. Several ofthe staff who work at the sewing school are alumni, and this past year they had a reunion with over 80 girls from the past ten years. Their hope is to register the program with the government so the girls can receive an official certificate from the program.
In Engikaret, the school is bursting at the seams with 450 students! The school has received such a reputation that some non-Maasai families are asking to enroll their children in school there. Two young women who were rescued from child marriages over a decade ago have now given back to their community, building beautiful homes for their families and working at the Engikaret school. The clinic is still open six days a week, complete with a laboratory and labor and delivery room. And the cows continue to provide nutritious milk for children in the community!
On the other hand, she shared with us new communities they have begun to work in, where need is great and “death is just so close.” Over and over again, Jacinta stressed that she has learned the great need for patience, for faithfully doing the next right thing and trusting in the long-term change to come. The stories she told us were the fruit of decades of faithful, patient work, and again we found ourselves encouraged and inspired by her example.
“I just want to be a mother to all,” Jacinta told us, as she shared her vision of opening a home, a resource center for women at risk. “My kids are grown and that is something I would like to give back to the community. I would like to mentor. Just to be there for people. I’ve not arrived yet, but when I look back, the time I’ve given to my children, I feel like I’ve never wasted.”