The Nyanya Skills Project, Nairobi

Kenyan Alliance:Amani Ya Juu, Chattanooga, TN

 Four grandmothers who are caring for grandchildren orphaned by AIDS in theNairobislum of Kibera were identified by The Nyanya Project (TNP) in May, 2007. Kibera is the largest slum inKenyaand possiblyAfrica, where more than 800,000 people live in one-room concrete structures with tin roofs, no plumbing, no sidewalks, no fresh water and no electricity. These grandmothers have lived in Kibera most of their adult lives and scratch out a living selling vegetables or dried fish from makeshift stands. They live on less than $1 per day for their entire families.

Each of The Nyanya Project’s four grandmothers – Eunice Obima, Beatrice Anyango, Mary Oyoo and Mary Oduor- care for orphaned grandchildren.Mary Oyoo lives with nine children and grandchildren in one room. Eunice lives with six children and grandchildren in one room. Floors are bare, plastic bags serve as chests of drawers; a single mattress is raised and lowered from the ceiling for space.People sleep across the mattress and on the concrete floor.

Amani Ya Juu (Swahili for “higher peace”) is a non-profit mission based inNairobiwhere women create extraordinary fabric crafts and clothing and learn how to be leaders “promoting peace inAfrica.” Amani Ya Juu has new centers inRwandaandBurundi.

In June, Amani Ya Juu accepted the four Nyanya Project grandmothers into a four-year training program that will train the women in making crafts, for which they earn much needed money, and as leaders who can represent peace to others in Kibera. The Nyanya Kibera Skills Project sponsors their training and oversees monthly meetings in Kibera between these four grandmothers and other women in Kibera as a support group to promote moral leadership, health education and skills training.

Donations provide for the four grandmothers’ lunches, transportation and training, approximately $250 per month, or $3,000 per year, for each of the next four years. Approximately $50 per month is needed for rental fees and supplies for the cooperative’s monthly meetings.

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