Widows & Orphans Centre

Widow harvesting greens from the farm. Widows prepare meals daily for the orphans.

 

The Centre is the heart of Rona Foundation, it is set within the community and has become a source of hope for widows and orphans. Protected from cultural practices of abuse and stigma widows find dignified work in our farm-cooperative and can thus re-build their lives and reestablish their dignity. Not only is this a powerful place of breaking cultural customs, but these women are standing together in friendship and empowerment to demand their human rights, adequately care for complete orphans and move their community towards a better future.

The Centre is the central hub for community meetings, farming activities, housing complete orphans, medical camps & treatments, counseling, welcoming visitors and volunteers, trainings and interventions, prayers and community games, or any other activity as need arises.

The model loss and grief centre for widows and orphans, is a centre that can be replicated in the 47 counties in Kenya or anywhere in Africa. The centre is structured to cover widow empowerment, orphan support and community revival. While our 1st model center is already up and running as a community based initiative with all the vital functions listed above, we plan to extend the premises of the center within the next five years to finally include:

  • Vegetable and animal farm
  • Multipurpose Hall
  • Safe House
  • Biogas Kitchen
  • Cottages
  • ICT/Library
  • Bakery
  • Therapeutic garden

Meet Rona Widows

Mamma Susana

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75 year old Mama Susana is a widow close to the heart of Rona. She is not only strong and portrays the true survival ways of a woman, but it’s her open-hearted generosity that launched the community movement that is Rona today. She has endured unimaginable personal pain by losing all her children in the 90’s; 6 daughters and 3 sons who she buried alongside her husband.

When Roseline needed land for the centre, it was Mama Susana who embraced her and stood up to the other villagers that stigmatized her as another childless widow bringing curses to the community. Mama Susana agreed to sell Roseline the 4 acre piece of land where Rona stands to date.

Saulina

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68 year old Saulina lost her husband when she had just been married for 7 months and was forced to be inherited by her brother-in-law, as the customs demanded and never bared children. Second widowhood came calling several years later. With not other means, she took up tilling land and doing manual jobs to earn a living. Her spirit of endurance stands out. 5 years ago he Catholic Church built her a house when she was in a desperate state and no other help could be found. She is one of the widow care-givers who takes in orphans and Rona supports them under her loving care. Currently, there are 4 orphans living with her.






Patricia

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Patricia is a childless widow, who is very loving and joyful; her infectious laughter is heard all around the Rona centre. Her journey in a society where a woman’s worth is based the children she bares is both heartwarming and inspiring to the other young widows. Patie is a very hardworking woman; often out in the farm and in the kitchen preparing meals for the orphans. Widowed at the young age of 25, she was required by to be inherited by her brother-in-law and help bring up his children. Last year she was required by his family to go back to her own home, which she did not have, therefore leaving her homeless. For many like her, widows are often left with no place to return when they have served the ‘inheritors’. Rona quickly stepped in to build her a house, which she thrives in today.

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