At Upendo Village

Sister Florence Muia is a Franciscan Sister of Nairobi, educated at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois.  She returned to Kenya in 2003 to open a clinic in rural Naivasha.  I first visited her in 2004 and urged her to begin a craft-making group among the women who come to the clinic.  Many of them walk 2 days to get there and she allows them to stay overnight and rest before walking back home.  "They are already here--let them sit together and talk and work together."

Florence was not persuaded.  Finally she wrote to me and said "Well, I have been thinking again.  For a small donation of a few hundred dollars for materials, we'll start the craft group."  Done.

When I arrived in 2005, the first thing I saw was a large group of women working under a straw gazebo in the courtyard of Upendo.  They were crafting jewelry to be sold here in the U.S. to support themselves.  Here they are.  I burst into tears.  I cry a lot.