This week’s “Do Good Highlight” features the Cheka Mama’s-an organization in Kenya, Africa that employs women to create hand-crafted items to sell in order to provide financially for their families and communities:
Shame & Fear. Words we are sadly all too familiar with.
About a year ago, that is only a couple of the emotions I saw on the faces of women in the Kibera slum in Kenya, Africa. They were tired. Tired of fighting, tired of hoping, tired of disappointments.
But they also had a fire; the kind that is tangible in the beating of your heart, the gleam in your eye, and the fire in the pit if your stomach when you know you are doing good and holy work. They were the Momma’s of the special needs children that I and a mentor/friend Keri had the privilege of getting to know and work with a year ago in Nairobi.
There is something innately special about the bond between a momma and her child; whether you’re in the USA, Africa, Switzerland, or Iraq. Momma’s go to war every day for their children; both on their knees in the spiritual realms and in the everyday trenches of life. And that is exactly what these women were doing for their sweet kiddos. In a society that has told them these precious souls are looked down on, less than, and lowly; they choose to see the beauty and goodness in them. They choose to hold their head high and be proud of their kids, exactly how they are. They choose to bend low to serve by helping them do simple, every day tasks such as holding a spoon, putting on their socks, or even rolling from their stomach to their back.
These women are FIGHTERS. WARRIORS. BRAVEHEARTS.
But the odds are stacked against them. They live in a society where they are told to hide their children in shame. They are told that their kids will never amount to anything. They are told their kids aren’t worth an education, a friendship, or a chance. They are told it’s their fault; they must have done something wrong, or committed some wrongdoing and this is how it is to be atoned for.
But God, who created Red Sea Roads through oceans, past time zones, and over thousands of miles sends other warriors. Women who come alongside each other to reach out and help. Women like Carol, the founder of “Cheka Mamas,” an organization who employs these momma’s so that they have a way to provide financially for their kids. The Cheka Mamas train, equip, and empower these women to use their artistic abilities to create bags, jewelry, shoes, and clothes to sell. In turn, the funds raised from their efforts supports Tabasamu Watato Inclusive Centre (TWIC)-an early childhood inclusive school based in Kibera. TWIC provides the means for the basic care of these children-food and medical care-as well as an education. Most of which would never be an option without the efforts of the Cheka Mamas.
The work that the Cheka Mamas and all the teachers and workers at TWIC are doing is exactly what Mud and Magnolias is about. This is job creation at it’s finest and we are so excited to have a small part to play.
There are a number of ways that your help is needed:
1. Support the Cheka Mama’s by purchasing one of their beautiful, hand made items such as a bag, or a piece of jewelry.
Get some of the products here:
2. Pray- it is in this unseen, holy work that the true battles are fought.
3. Education- Learn about the needs and injustices, both around the world and in our own back yard. Once you know, allow yourself to be compelled to act.
**For more information, visit Tabasamu Watoto Inclusive Centre on Facebook