Success Stories Sat, 19 Jun 2021 07:02:17 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb MWENDO CAME TO MY AID WHEN I HAD NOBODY TO TURN TO A MWENDO beneficiary arranging fish for her business in Mukuru Informal Settlements, Nairobi

The COVID-19 pandemic has made lives incredibly difficult all over the world, with Faustina being no exception.  Faustina lives in the Mukuru Kwa Reuben informal settlements in Nairobi County. When the pandemic struck, she was already struggling to put food on the table. As a single mother of 4 children, the responsibility of taking care of her family fell solely on her shoulders. She and her daughter are living with HIV, which even made her situation look grimmer.

The death of her husband marked the beginning of one misfortune after another.  His family turned against her and abandoned her, leaving her alone to take care of her children. "Paying my children's school fees became impossible as I had no job. Their school would sit my kids separately from the others at lunchtime as I could not pay for tuition and food," Faustina says. The children were later dismissed from school ultimately.

The pandemic made the already bad situation even worse when she could not find a job. Subsequently, she couldn't pay rent and had no money for food.  Porridge became the sole meal they could afford. She had no choice but to move into her sister's house with her children. Her stress was multiplied even further by her inability to obtain anti-viral medication due to a lack of income. "I hadn't disclosed my status and that of my daughters to my sister, and so, I found it difficult to ask for financial help to get medication. It was tough," She says. The lack of medication resulted in an increase in her daughter's viral load to 89,000 copies/ml.

One day she decided to visit the Mukuru Health Centre within her neighborhood, which became the genesis of a complete and positive turn. After receiving treatment, she was referred to the MWENDO project at the HOPE worldwide Kenya community center in Mukuru, a step she took at the right time in her life.

She was immediately enrolled in the MWENDO Project and began receiving support. Her children went back to school, and in collaboration with the Mukuru health center, she and her daughter received support to ensure they were following the doctor's advice and drug prescription. Her daughter's viral load is now completely suppressed, and she lives a full life. She also receives cash transfers which she uses to buy medication for her and her daughter.

"Now, I am no longer stressed about my children's school fees. I don't panic whenever they are sitting for examination because their education is sponsored. I am very grateful to God that I found MWENDO; I have received so much help," Faustina says with a smile.

Faustina now shares her story with other caregivers as a testimony of how the MWENDO Project has completely changed her life and supported her when no one else could. She also mentors others on effectively supporting their children living with HIV to adhere to drugs for viral load suppression.

When asked what she wishes to see in the future, she says that she wants every parent to see their HIV-positive child thrive and all children succeed. She also wants to be financially stable.

*MWENDO Project is a USAID-funded project through sub-grant from Catholic Relief Services that supports Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) to address the social determinants of health to improve the well-being of children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS.

]]> (Chelsea Otieno) success stories Fri, 09 Apr 2021 06:02:40 +0000
FROM DEPRESSION TO MENTORSHIP; HOW MWENDO CHANGES LIVES Samples of clothing from a MWENDO beneficiary’s boutique business in Kayole, Nairobi

Fiona M* is widowed and a mother to 3 sons living in Kayole in Nairobi. She and her 10-year-old last-born son are HIV positive, which she discovered during a visit to antenatal clinic around the time of his birth.

Upon finding out her status, Fiona became severely depressed. She sought the help of a social worker, and was introduced to the staff at HOPE worldwide Kenya, MWENDO office in Kayole. Through MWENDO, she was able to meet and join a support group of other people living with HIV and go for counselling sessions, which allowed her to have a different outlook on her situation.

“I saw other infected people and realized having HIV was not the end of the world. It helped me face life more positively.” Fiona says. She was able to find peace of mind with the help of her support group, which brought much needed happiness and physical wellbeing to her life.

Alongside the psychosocial support, MWENDO also supported Fiona financially. The project provided a business grant of Kes 36,000 as a startup kit for her boutique business. She was also introduced to a table-banking group where she was able to save and access a loan to boost her business. MWENDO helped support her with food, school fees, and health insurance (NHIF), which she is immensely grateful for. “MWENDO is the best thing that has ever happened to me”, she says.

Fiona is now a living example to others, and contributes to the MWENDO project by mentoring caregivers who are living with HIV. She says that she has now become so strong that people don’t believe she is HIV positive.

When asked what she wishes for in her future, she says she wants a healthy life for her and her children, as well as success in all her endeavors. She also wishes everyone with HIV could be positive about their situation.

*Not her real name

*MWENDO Project is a USAID-funded project through sub-grant from Catholic Relief Services that supports Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) to address the social determinants of health to improve the well-being of children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS.

]]> (Chelsea Otieno) success stories Fri, 09 Apr 2021 05:31:37 +0000
DOWN BUT NEVER OUT; HOW MWENDO CHANGES LIVES. A beneficiary with a MWENDO project coordinator at her green grocery stall in Kayole, Nairobi

Mary* is a mother of two children living in Kayole, Nairobi, and was referred to the MWENDO project through the Eastern Deanery AIDS Relief Program (EDARP) in Komarock for enrollment in September 2019.

Her story is an all too familiar one. She is a survivor of Gender-Based Violence and a person living with HIV. She courageously walked out of an abusive marriage in 2012 with nothing but the clothes on her back. She started doing odd jobs such as washing clothes to support herself and her son and daughter but began losing hope that her situation would improve.

After enrolling in the MWENDO project, her life changed significantly. She joined a table banking group which has helped her save money, and through business grants has grown her fruits and vegetables stall. She still continues doing odd jobs, but only to supplement the income she receives from her business and pay for her children’s school fees. The  MWENDO Project also pays for her health insurance (NHIF), which has helped her adhere to treatment.

“I had lost hope, but MWENDO helped me through everything. I pray for blessings, for my children to complete school, and for my business to continue growing. One day I want to build a house where my children and I can call home,” she says.

A MWENDO beneficiary at her green grocery stall in Kayole, Nairobi

She was also fortunate to receive cash transfers at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic from GiveDirectly, which partners with the MWENDO project through HOPE worldwide Kenya to support low-income households with basic upkeep such as food and rent.

Mary’s story is proof that even when we are down, we should never give up, for there is light at the end of the tunnel.

*Not her real name
*MWENDO Project is a USAID-funded project through sub-grant from Catholic Relief Services that supports Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) to address the social determinants of health to improve the well-being of children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS.
*GiveDirectly is a US-based not-for-profit organization operating in East Africa that helps families living in extreme poverty by making unconditional cash transfers via mobile phones.

]]> (Chelsea Otieno) success stories Mon, 15 Mar 2021 17:05:16 +0000
WHERE THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY Phian serving in the store at HWWK Mathare office

Phian is a 21-year-old beautiful young woman born and raised in Mathare informal settlements. Like many young women in the area, she struggled to make ends meet. When the DREAMS project scaled up to reach Mathare informal settlements, she was among the first vulnerable young women to be enrolled. By then, she didn't have a stable source of income. As a young mother, she was experiencing many challenges. She could not afford to put even one meal on the table daily.  She took on menial jobs like doing laundry in the estates,  a job that she hadn't imagined doing. 

After participating in the project and acquiring business skills through financial capability and entrepreneur training, she started a small business of selling second-hand clothes, which enabled her to stop doing laundry jobs.

Her commitment and outstanding participation in the Social Asset Building sessions (SAB) earned her praise, admiration, and applause from her peers, mentors, and project staff. She was selected and enrolled for a five-day mentorship training, and got certified as a  mentor for Adolescent Girls and Young Women  (AGYW) aged 10-14 years. She started earning a stipend from the SAB session that she facilitated. Phian did exemplary well in her mentorship, and like the fuel that drives an engine, she drove behavior transformation among the in-school AGYW.

Her desire to learn and expand employability skills was unquenched, she enrolled for a course in catering at Kenya Christian Industrial Training Institute (KCITI) which was fully supported by the DREAMS project and immediately after her studies, she was offered a job as a receptionist for three months at Kenya Christian Industrial Training Institute.

Phian compiling a list of Inventory

In mid-2019,  she was offered yet another opportunity to work as a Store Keeper/Office Assistant at Mathare, Hospital ward. A role she serves passionately and diligently.  She is a go-getter with a promising career in the future.

"I am an empowered woman, and I can't wait to see how far I will go. My desire to enroll for a diploma course in Store Keeping is a dream I believe will come to pass and enable me to get employed in even higher positions. My gratitude goes to the DREAMS project for nurturing me with lots of love. I can now afford to cater for my family's basic needs and gained skills I never had". She said with tears of joy.

]]> (Perez Owich and Wilma) success stories Sat, 11 Jul 2020 06:01:51 +0000
MWENDO PROJECT CHANGE STORIES DURING COVID 19 Mwendo Project changes stories during Covid-19

Margaret Kwamboka Barake is a highly vulnerable 48 year old widow taking care of her 4 children. The family is staying in a single rented room in Kayole Central Ward in Embakasi sub-county.

HOPE worldwide Kenya through the MWENDO* Project is supporting her with emergency fund cash transfers of KES 2,000 (about USD 20) per month for 6 months. Before the support she was struggling and had no source of income. Through this provision, she has managed to start a mask making and handwashing soap business during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the cash transfer and her small business she is currently able to take care of and support her 5 member family without difficulty.

During an interview with MWENDO program staff, she expressed her gratitude for the support and encouragement she has received. Just a little help can make a big difference.


Margaret displays her products for sale during the interview with MWENDO staff

*MWENDO (Making Well-informed Efforts to Nurture Disadvantaged OVC) is a five-year USAID funded project that targets OVC. HWWK implements the project in informal settlements in Nairobi County through a sub-grant from Catholic Relief Services (CRS). MWENDO aims to ensure children remain healthy, safe, stable and schooled by: addressing the social determinants of health to improve the wellbeing of children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV; enhance the capacity of caregivers and communities to sustainably provide care and support to OVC; and strengthen institutional capacities of formal and informal structures to respond to child welfare and protection needs.

]]> (Tabitha Muia) success stories Tue, 07 Jul 2020 08:18:58 +0000
TWO RIVERS DONATES FOOD BASKETS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 Two Rivers Managing Director, Mr. Theodoros Pantis, presents food donaton to Mr. Nicasius Kamani, HWWK, Operations Director.

Today, 15th May 2020, HOPE worldwide Kenya (HWWK) was humbled and truly grateful to receive a generous donation from Two Rivers, presented by the Managing Director, Mr. Theodoros Pantis, to Mr. Nicasius Kamani, HWWK, Operations Director. The gift donations included food items such as rice, maize, and wheat flour, cooking oil and drinks, and other essential items like sanitary towels.

We are especially grateful to the individuals who generously gave to this cause. This donation will go a long way to putting food on the table of families who would not know where their next meal would come from, due to the loss of their jobs necessitated by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Thank You Two Rivers Family for choosing to partner with HOPE worldwide Kenya in response to this Pandemic through your kind donation.

The donation will be distributed to the most vulnerable households in Nairobi informal settlements, including Mukuru, Tassia, Mathare, Kaimbiu, Landmawe, Ruai, and Dandora.

We look forward to a continued partnership with Two Rivers to reach more needy households.

]]> (Tabitha Muia) success stories Fri, 15 May 2020 16:17:54 +0000
HWWK RESPONSE TO COVID-19 EPIDEMIC hwwk-response-to-covid-19-epidemic


Along with other countries around the world, Kenya is also in the battle against the invisible enemy of COVID-19. HOPE worldwide Kenya is doing its part to keep staff and those we serve safe. Currently we are providing corona-virus awareness and prevention sessions and reinforcing efforts by the government to keep the current curfew that is in place and reinforcing hand washing and sanitizing, along with good respiratory hygiene and social distancing. We are providing individual-level interventions that can be done with the use of social media.