Upendo Village helper: Ann

This photo was taken in 2005, shortly after Ann joined the group at Upendo Village making African jewelry.  When I visited Upendo this March (2007), I didn't see her.  Sister Florence took me to Ann's home, and on the way I learned more of her story.

Ann was a streetwalker--a prostitute.  Two years ago business was slow & Ann saw the women's group taking a break from work & eating lunch in the courtyard at Upendo. (They are served a high-protein porridge.)  She was hungry and a bit nosey, so she investigated.  She stayed to eat and make jewelry.

Here Sister Florence stopped the story--we'd arrived at Ann's home and she welcomed us in.

Because of her retraining and "career shift" Ann now has her own business.  She sells clothing to people in Naivasha & jewelry to tourists.  She accompanies Sister Florence to pull young girls in from the streets & deter them from a short (if profitable) life of prostitution.

Sister Florence leaned over and looked me square in the eyes:  "Keen, never underestimate the power of the simple work you are doing."

I burst into tears.  I am crying as I write this.  It is YOU--our donors--who allow me to do what I do.  Thank you.