A Stitch In Time: Harriet’s Story

Harriet, a mother of two is a caregiver living in Mukuru slums. She vividly recalls walking to the HOPE worldwide Kenya Center of HOPE located at Mukuru kwa Ruben back in March 2012. It was to seek help since she had reached her end and did not know what to do. Her husband, a supportive casual labourer, did not earn enough to meet their basic needs. After losing her parents, she wished for a miracle since her younger sister had no one to look after her or even take her to school. In the midst of this hopeless situation, her sister had decided to seek help from a relative who offered to support her education. Unfortunately she ended up being used as the house help.

Saddened by the situation, Harriet took her sister in, not knowing how to help but compelled to do something. That is when she approached the HOPE worldwide Kenya Center for assistance. The children program volunteers were very kind and offered an ear. After assessing her situation, she was enrolled for support from one of the programs funded by The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation.  She received initial capital for her income generating project, which was a business idea to supply snacks commonly known as ‘pipes,’ to the residents of Mukuru.

Harriet prepares and cooks the ‘pipes’ a popular snack, to supply the wayside kiosks in Mukuru kwa Ruben

Through the project, she was able to attend business skills training and benefit from mentorship by skilled and experienced partners. Within a short time she was the main supplier for the wayside kiosks within Mukuru-kwa-Ruben. In the evenings many children lined up for freshly prepared snacks at her door.  On a good day she makes a profit of about KES600.

‘This business has helped me a lot. I have been able to raise my sister’s fees of about KES 20,000 every term for the past three years and soon she’ll be sitting for her final exam’, Harriet says with a smile as she points to her sister’s promising grades.

Her pride and reason to live has been restored through our program for children in Mukuru, wholly funded by The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. The program aims to strengthen households to be able to take care of their children by providing economic empowerment through income generating activities. Harriet’s success story is a source of inspiration and confirms that ‘True life is lived when tiny changes occur’.

There are about 42 support groups in Mukuru kwa Ruben , Mukuru kwa Njenga and Lungalunga villages. HOPE worldwide Kenya supports some of them through funding from The Coca Cola Africa Foundation.