In-Country Partner: Acacia in Kenya (AIK) is a 501(C)3 non profit that partners with community leaders in Mumias (Western Kenya) to care for, shelter, and educate young women who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend high school. Founded in 2005 by Joyce Mohr and Sammy Lutomia, AIK is an official outreach project of First Parish Waltham, MA, a Unitarian Universalist congregation. AIK Project Coordinator Noel Lutomia joined the IWC board in June 2021.
IWC and AIK started discussions in early January 2020 for a Gathering in Western Kenya in October 2021; the COVID-19 pandemic put the Gathering on hold.
Meanwhile, in view of the global health crisis, IWC partnered with AIK to respond to urgent challenges facing women and girls in western Kenya:
Schools were closed, burdening girls with extra household chores
Girls took over their mothers' roles because most mothers had to leave home for work so that they could get food for the family
Girls were more exposed to male predators
Girls and women were less able to manage their menstruation (factors included a massive shortage of menstrual hygiene products, limited mobility, stress and anxiety, lack of access to water and sanitation etc.)
In less than two months, in response to immediate local needs, IWC raised $1,800 for Acacia in Kenya to provide much-needed COVID-19 relief efforts, including sanitary pads, water buckets and soap, masks, and sensitization sessions on COVID-19 and on how to prevent teenage pregnancies and early marriages.
Please watch this video below to see how your contributions made a difference! Noel Lutomia, Project Manager of Acacia in Kenya brought greetings to IWC on its 10th anniversary, talking about AIK's programs to empower rural women and girls in Kenya, in partnership with IWC: