Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Kenya Care Wear

As I approached the small door that would lead us to the inner sanctum, the smell of urine permeated my nostrils. Latrines are often shared by more than 100 people who must pay money to use it. Most people don’t have access to money or sanitation, so they’ll squat in a plastic bag (a floating toilet) or relieve themselves along the allies or ditches. Their 6 ‘x8’ shanty houses are made of tin and mud, none of which have electricity or running water. Inside, cardboard serves as their nighttime sleeping comfort.

The Mathare slum in Kenya is home to more 500,000 people all living on 3 square miles of land. Yes, three. Most of these people live on an income of less than $1 per day and it’s precisely this reason that Kenya Care Wear was formed. Brenda and Kathryn, two Australian ladies, formed this charity to: 
  1. Empower individuals by providing small scale business opportunities in sewing and jewelry making.
  2. Apply any profit generated from sales to the provision of aid to schools, clinics and community initiatives that benefit the disadvantaged in semi rural and city slums of Kenya.

As I listed to Brenda talk about the hearts of the ladies working in Kenya Care Wear, I was blessed. They could easily (and blamelessly) keep their income for their families but instead these ladies take a small portion of their income and give the rest in gifts to specifically needy people or situations.

It was these ladies who made the teaching ministry with Surprised by Hope possible. And what a perfect match! Pastor Ezekiel opened his church to a variety of strategically selected leaders and we spent two days together teaching and ministering about the biblical basis of business as well as learning about and practicing entrepreneurship skills. Though a variety of skill levels were evident, I believe each participants learned something valuable and was appropriately challenged to apply what they learned so that our next time together would find them better off than before.

Sometimes we might wonder if we can really make a difference with such a big problem. But what Brenda and Kathryn are doing is absolutely making a difference for these folks! Lord bless them indeed and enlarge their territory.