Everlyne Mwende says of Kijiji Cha Upendo,”It has made a huge difference to my business and my life. I am so happy!”Meet Shop Keeper,

EVERLYNE MWENDE

A woman of courage, compassion and determination.

Extreme poverty can lead to desperate measures. Everlyne can tell you all about that!

Living in the slum of Kibera, Everlyne struggled to feed and house her four children, two biological and the two orphaned children of distant relatives. She did the best she could by selling alcohol in her home. This provided an income, but got her into all kinds of trouble with the neighbours and the law!  

 

In 2011, Everlyne’s small tuck shop enabled her to eke out a living for herself and her four dependents. In the picture we see her tending her little one at the same time that she is making a saleShe made a new life for herself!

Finally, Everlyne bravely started a new venture, knitting and selling Rastafarian hats that proved to be quite popular with the customers. She managed to save a little and add a few other products for sale, opening the front of her house as a Tuck Shop.  Nevertheless, it was a struggle.

Often the children went hungry. All that she could give them in the morning was a cup of tea. Sometimes they even went to bed hungry.

 

 

Her compassion qualified her to be part of Village of Love

In 2011, Everlyne’s commitment to the orphaned children in her care qualified her to be one of the first families in the newly formed Kijiji Cha Upendo, (Village of Love).  Finally, she could receive the kind of help that she needed!  She was granted a micro-loan, attended a workshop to learn how to increase her general level of income. Volunteers followed up with home visits, mentoring and encouraging her.

Excellent business woman

Rapidly Everlyne paid back her first and second loans, which she had used to acquire a variety of knick knacks to sell. Borrowing from the women’s table banking kitty she further expanded her goods. Everlyne is an excellent business woman and proud of her achievements.

See the picture below for the difference to her Tuck Shop in just one year!

 

In 2012, Canadians, Ali and Memonah, visit Everlyne’s shop.Canadian Volunteers visit Kibera

 

Inside Everlyne’s tuck shop

The front of Everlyne’s home is a tuck shop. Speaking in Swahili, with Programme Officer Leonora Obara and Community Mobilizer Kevin Garo translating, Everlyne proudly shows the Rastafarian hats she knits herself. They encourage her to speak to the visitors in English, but she continues in Swahili, smiling in contentment at her achievements.

A variety of goods!

Her shop consists of a glass case filled with knick knacks: talcum powder, nail polish, deodorant, hair colour; and items hanging from strings up top like sandals, toys, clips, and buttons. She is proud to show her most recent acquisition made possible through a micro-loan, a coca cola cooler from which she now sells soda! Compare the two pictures to see the added variety of goods that Everlyne now has to sell!

 

The difference Village of Love has made!

Income! Security! Acceptance! Sufficient food!

Everlyne is now earning slightly more than she used to in her old trade, is secure from the law and accepted by her neighbours.  Her children eat bread with their tea in the morning, and have a lunch and dinner of maize and beans.

The benefits of a bicycle!

At the doorstep of Everlyn’s store is her red bicycle, a gift in 2012 from Wheels for Africa, arranged through a CAP/AIDS connection. She guards this bike very carefully, she says. It’s vital for transporting goods purchased for her store. This saves her transportation costs when she purchases items for her store.

Workshops on life skills and business practices

Through the workshops KCU provides, Everlyne has learned about children’s rights, where to report abuses, and how to handle her children when there are disputes between them and third parties.

 

Your $25 a month will provide a microloan and workshops for a struggling orphan caregiver like Everlyne.