Carolyne Adhiambo Oloo, Stawi Women
In the Bondo Area of the rural part of Western Kenya, women are seen as property and not as humans with rights. Once their husbands die, their choice is either inheritance by their husband’s relatives or disinheritance with nothing to fall back on. Not only are these women faced with grief from the loss of their life partners, but they are then faced with these traditional (cultural) practices and cast out if they refuse to follow through with the expectations.
Experiencing the trauma and psychological suffering of widowhood, Carolyne Oloo and her project Stawi Women works with widows – especially those who have been disinherited – providing them support through training on their rights. The hope is to help widows heal psychologically through support groups sessions and to provide avenues for income generating activities, addressing poverty and economic issues so they are able to provide food and basic necessities to take care of themselves and their children.
While working on her her mental health project, East Africa Hub Fellow Sitawa Wafula met Carolyne and was so inspired by her passion and drive for working with widows that she has selected her to receive this flow fund. With her TPP grant, Carolyne plans to host regular meetings and training on legal rights and financial principles, will hold support group (psycho-social) sessions, and will become a source for raw materials for that will allow the women to produce mats as an income generating activity.