Thanks for your time in reading this.
Those who know me, know my passion outside Microsoft, is women’s empowerment with emphasis on domestic violence and entrepreneurship. I am a survivor of domestic violence and I am an entrepreneur.
I never intended to start a women’s empowerment program, nor do I have the educational background for this type of work. But when a half-naked women, battered and bruised came running to our house in Kenya for refuge the summer of 2015, I had to do something!
Caroline had no education, 11 children, a 3rd wife and owned absolutely nothing. As different as our backgrounds were, I saw myself in Caroline when she arrived at our door step. Domestic violence is the same across all social economic and cultural groups.
My only knowledge was experience. I mirrored my healing on Caroline.
- Leave the bad environment and protect your children
- Seek help and surround yourself with positive people
- Become financially independent
- Work hard and own your property
I am blessed to own a 140 acre farm and have experience in exporting fruit and vegetables for over 10 years. This was the best place to start Caroline off. Word spread in no time, that my home was a refuge for abused women. One by one they came. One by one I took them in.
Today the Shoe4Africa Women’s Empowerment program has 88 women, and growing. We’ve won big battles, stepped on many toes, sometimes broken rules and gone against the cultural grain in protecting and growing these women. We’ve achieved:
- Protection – for the women and their children in collaboration with county police and village elders
- Employment – all the women work on the farm for higher wages then surrounding farms and learn new methods of farming
- Property Ownership – In 5 years, 60 women have title deeds to their own one acre lot, outside the farm
- Education – ensure that their children are enrolled in local government schools without interruption
- Empowerment – Unexplainable!
I have not done this alone. I am remarried to an amazing man and scaffolded by many friends and giving hearts. Please join our journey through your giving or spreading the word. And when the world returns after Covid, take a trip to Kenya to see our work! We’re rather crazy, but we’re better today because someone cared!
Short video about our program – VIDEO
Read more about our journey – LINK
To support, with a generous matching gift from Microsoft, please donate here
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