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HomeHfaw ArticlesLetter from the Founder

Letter from the Founder

Dear Friend, Colleague, advocate or supporter:
Welcome to Hope Foundation for African Women (HFAW), an organization inspired to make a difference in the lives of poor, vulnerable and marginalized rural women and girls in Kenya. Think of a Maasai woman who would do the majority of the family’s domestic chores: building huts with mud and dung, fetching water from long distances, collecting firewood from the bush and often dangerous areas, cooking and rearing children, finding food in a desert-like climate just to mention a few. She would generally be the one providing for her family but would have very little decision-making power both in the community and the household. She owns no property and is generally illiterate; lacking basic financial and health knowledge. She would be enduring female genital mutilation, lives in poverty and might be experiencing domestic violence. Similarly, think of the Kisii woman, coming from the same community as myself who does most of what the Maasai woman does, except for the environmental difference. Here, the woman enjoys a much more livable environment because it receives humble rains and, therefore, food is much easier to grow.

Where are the men in all this? It is not that husbands hate their wives. It is not that these women find their lives to be an issue. It is the only life they have ever known. It is tradition. There is no value in questioning things that you cannot change as so many of them might have concluded.
I know one thing, that a Maasai or Kisii woman can be a powerful agent of sustainable change in her life. I know this because, like many African women, I have walked long distances fetching water from the streams, collected firewood, did many hours of domestic chores, smeared huts with dung and lived poorly. Through education, inspiration and support I no longer have to carry water on my head for long distances, I can afford a cooking stove, live in my own modern house, own my own land and cow and  expect a salary at the end of every month. I can make independent decisions and will take responsibility over them. I understand my human and women’s rights and I have the freedom to pursue them. When I think about my life journey I am inspired to think that there is a better tomorrow for every poor and vulnerable woman on earth. That is why I am inviting you, you as a citizen of our global world to join me in becoming the agents of change in the lives of these women. Change is more than material provision but an embrace of an altered, changed attitude. Change is the power to perceive another world, the motivation to inspire hope, the willingness to support the vulnerable, the endurance to fight poverty, the courage to empower another, the genuine address of marginalization and the idea of stronger communities and the fulfillment of a vision for a better world.
Something as simple as a goat or cow or even  bricks in addition to a little education and skills can change a Kenyan woman’s life in ways impossible to measure. The impact trickles down for generations to come. The world is changing and these women are becoming increasingly aware that isolation and tradition cannot hold anymore. They are working diligently to address their life circumstances. Their hope is that you can believe in them and invest in them.
Sincerely,
Dr. Grace Mose Okong’o -HFAW and Grace Women’s Fund This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Designed Bully Vincent