Kenya – Faraja Widows

The Faraja Widows are a tremendous story of comfort and resilience. As you may know, the Widows are dealing with HIV and AIDS along with living in the largest slum in all Africa and raising kids and grandkids.

On top of this, their workshop burned down in late 2014 (picture at left).  They lost the building, their sewing machines, all their samples, and all the handicraft orders that they were working on for Christmas.

Tragedy 048This building was where they gathered for worship, coordinating their savings and loans, and also created the bags and jewelry that many of us know them for.

We are extremely happy to report that, working with other partners, the group was able to rebuild their building (pictures below of the outside and dedication of the upstairs workroom) and now have a second set of funds to purchase new sewing machines and materials.

 

Faraja New Building outside Faraja New building inside

 

Instead, 40-year missionary Martha Kirkpatrick and Kenyan leaders Caleb and Eunice Otieno started a work of promise in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, in Nairobi, Kenya. Faraja Widows project empowers widows who are affected by HIV/AIDS. The overall ministry, St. Martha’a Ministry, started with a small group of three widows and eight orphans and has grown to impact more than a dozen widows and several dozen orphans.

The Otienos say, “Reverend Martha was a lady who was full of kindness and compassion for African women and children. She was a pillar of strength to our family at a time of our greatest need of love.”

The ministry receives its major source of funding from the sale of bags and African jewelry made out of domestic animal bones.