Join us in supporting families in the informal economy who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Help us to empower these families’ children through education so they can, in turn, transform their communities, and countries.
COVID -19 has impacted people in so many ways. In Kenya, there are many cases of families who are unable to take their children to school, to fend for themselves, and they are feeling very frustrated to the point of committing suicide.
This appeal is to highlight the plight of such people, and to seek support so as to bring them back to their feet.
I want to bring your attention to a family that requires your help today. This family has been driven to the brink of self-destruction. As of the 21st of November, they have been locked out of their house and have not eaten for a few days.
Watch Mary’s story below:
Now – this is just one example of many families in this situation. And we hope that through this fundraising campaign, we can be able to help those in similar predicaments. Poverty is one of the main drivers of mental health issues, including suicide, and COVID-19 has exacerbated this over the past two years, especially for people in the informal economy. Jenga Africa has stepped up to advocate for those struggling financially, who have been driven to attempt suicide because of poverty.
This pandemic has taught us, especially me, that we need to stand together and do what we can to help those in need. We have been helping this family – together with others – for the past four months, but it is not sustainable to do it as individuals. It needs collective and joint efforts. We are appealing for your support to help this family + many others who are in similar situations.
I mentor young people on mental health matters, as many of you know, and one day I met a girl named Albright at a mentoring session at a High School in Nairobi – She is 17 years old. Fast forward to September- her mother, Mary, tried to take her own life. Albright remembered me and called right away. With a shaky voice and many tears, she narrated their fate and informed me that the family hadn’t eaten for two days, and her mother was nowhere to be found.
The mother couldn’t see a way out of her financial woes and figured suicide was the best option. She has been trying by all means to find work and has been unsuccessful. Near her house is a railroad track, and she went and stood on it, hoping that a train would soon pass and end her misery. Luckily, a man standing nearby pushed her out of the train’s path. Mary has four children, ages 21, 17, 9 and 7. She was kicked out of her house after her husband died. At the time of her husband’s death, she had two girls – and since she had no boys to inherit the home or land, the husband’s relatives illegally confiscated all their belongings and left them with nothing – no money, no clothes, no food, no house – nothing. They said you made a vow, that you and your husband will stick together till death do you part. Now death has separated you both, and you have to go.
They then moved to Nairobi and have been staying at a slum area near Kayole. The reason she has two sons today is because she figured if she had a boy, her future would be secure, but the fathers to those two boys abandoned her. She feels forgotten as if her life is cursed. She has since been struggling to get back on her feet as you’re about to see from her story in the video above.
As we speak, her daughter who is in High School (form 4) will not be sitting for her exams as she has not paid her tuition for the year. Exams are currently ongoing, and you can imagine how she feels as she watches her peers. Her other sister has had to pull out of school as well.
Mary’s family is not the only one in this predicament. There are many others like them. We are working on getting them back on their feet, getting them job placements, and allocating some resources for others to start a small business. I’ve come to know these families through their children, whom I met when I visited their schools for mentor sessions. All their parents want is education for their sons and daughters. As you’re aware, our schools are still trying to understand mental health; so, these children are coming from one traumatizing background and environment to another, making them break down. They are losing trust in the world, in the government, and in schools. They are in despair, and we need to step in.
Join hands with us in creating a different future for our young people and their families.
For more Information on Jenga Africa and the work that we do, visit our website at: click this link.
Besides being a stay-at-home mom, Mary is skilled at cleaning, cooking and has experience in childcare. She once had a business of cooking and selling food and has worked at a hotel before. Besides financial support, you can support Mary by offering her employment in these areas.
We have a plan in place for these families. Your contribution will enable us to help them get back on their feet and put their children back to school. Together with you and other partners, we plan on supporting them for 6 months. During this period, we will assist them with job placements. For those with an entrepreneurial passion, we will help them start a business. We’ll update you on their progress and what your contribution has enabled us to do.
You can also send funds via MPESA to Jenga Africa via our Paybill number. Please note that we are trading as ‘Jenga Me’ in Kenya.
Paybill: 7716337Account: (please indicate your name)
Bank: KCB Bank Name: Jenga Me Account number: 1287724175
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