When I visited Mary at her house, she was very sick. We took a couple of breaks to allow her to catch her breath in between the interview. At the end of the interview, she was strong enough to smile for the camera even though she had all the reasons not to.
The 55year old woman mother of 8 children is the guardian of her five grandchildren and her last born son. In 1993, Mary lost her husband to another woman, this meant all the eight children were depending on her as the only parent.
She struggled bringing up her children by doing domestic work to different people every day. In Kenya, unemployed women like Mary wait at a common place in the neighborhood with the hope that someone will come to them and asked them to do some work then get paid once the job is done. This is a gamble because it is not every day that these women to get something to do.
When she started receiving the unconditional grant, Mary started a small business of selling vegetables and fish. This helped her a lot in terms of managing her finances. Never in her life had anyone ever offered her a single penny to buy food for her children but Dodore foundation has been there for her.
Mary is currently working at a small salon in Kibera and this work is better for her since she it doesn’t require a lot of energy to braid or blow dry her clients hair.
What makes Mary even happier is the fact that the foundation is consistent with supporting all the ladies in the group financially every month and following up with them to see how they are faring on.