In the midst of culture, traditions, and customs, related to death, widows are caught in diminishing practices and forced to undergo dehumanizing rituals, rights and ‘cleansing’ acts that remain unspoken. Their suffering is deep, and cuts across the society. Stigma is real, both from the learned society and the uncivilized alike. Widowhood is the only place where the bond of ‘mother & child’ is broken, when sons & daughters disown their mothers when they are not inherited or cleansed or both. Rona Foundation is championing this awareness campaign in Kenya with an aim of achieving policy for widows and orphans and ultimately ‘Widowhood Laws in Kenya’.
Rona Orphans & Widows Advocacy Centre is set at the perishing lakeshore village of Wagoma in Bondo, Siaya County; Kenya, running various orphan and widow support programs. This model loss and grief centre for orphans and widows, can be replicated in any of the 47 counties in Kenya or anywhere in Africa. The Centre of HOPE set within the rural village where poverty, disease, culture & traditions reign supreme, subjecting widows merely as victims and observers; and leaving orphans with no support, food or education is meant to revive, re-build and help them re-enter life; sitting on 4acres of land and supporting 166 orphans and reviving a dying village with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
Rona’s 3rd mandate is to create awareness for organizations to create ‘Grief Protocol/Policy’. This is a system or procedure that an organization can carry out if/when an employee looses a member of the nuclear family and/or the company loses a staff. Many organizations currently act spontaneous on such unfortunate news. And the Country is thrown in endless fundraising initiatives ‘harambees’ when calamity strikes or when death strikes either at family, society or government level, no matter the financial status, position or rank in Kenya.