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The Mission of the Grandmother Circles is to support communities of women living in rural villages in Kenya. These women provide care of children and actively organize for economic, social and educational justice.
Our all-volunteer circles of American and Kenyan grandmothers work together to provide care for orphaned and desperately poor children in rural Kenya — and actively organize for economic, social and educational justice.
Why Grandmother Circles?
Life is hard for women in rural Kenya. Refusing to follow the tribal custom of being inherited by their husband’s brother, some of our Kenyan grandmothers are shunned by their tribes and forced to live outside the villages. Many are raising grandchildren and other orphans who have lost their parents primarily to the AIDS epidemic.
Water is often scarce. There are few sources of employment. Girls are regularly pulled out of school to care for younger siblings. Rape is a real danger when women travel long distances for fresh water during dry seasons. There’s no safety net when the unexpected occurs.
Grandmothers and volunteers in America work to raise money for the most urgent needs identified by the grandmothers in Kenya. Some work administratively to write grants and raise funds. Others gather in crafting circles to create artwork and crafts that can be sold, with all or some of the proceeds donated to support innovative, life-altering initiatives in Kenya.
Mary Lieta is the volunteer director of a community-based organization (similar to US nonprofit) in Homa Bay, Kenya. She implements and coordinates initiatives undertaken by our American and Kenyan circles.