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Australia and Southern Pacific
Active in Kenya for 95 years, Mothers’ Union Kenya now has a membership of over 450,000 and a presence spanning the whole country.
Over the last few years a major focus for Mothers’ Union Kenya across the country has been community reconciliation. Mothers’ Union members and the Church have been helping heal the wounds of conflict by training hundreds of community-based facilitators who facilitate discussions and activities on reconciliation.
Within Kibera, an area on the outskirts of Nairobi that has many challenges, Mothers’ Union has established parents' groups. These equip individuals with valuable parenting skills, and also allow parents, grandparents or carers to share their thoughts, concerns and issues relating to children and family life. A close bond is often formed between the group members and in Kibera the programme has been bringing people closer together and helped build relationships within the whole community.
Mothers’ Union members in Kitale have been particularly active in highlighting the dangers of the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which is still prevalent among young girls and women in their community. Early marriage is common and means that the majority of girls in some communities do not attend school. Mothers’ Union Kenya takes a holistic approach to the problem. Members encourage young women to gain an education; speak to community leaders and parents about the issue and encourage them to send their girls to school and prevent early marriage; they promote non-harmful culturally acceptable alternatives to FGM; and organise rallies, dramas and workshops to raise awareness of the dangers of FGM and HIV/AIDs.
In other parts of Kenya, Mothers’ Union members are doing a lot of work with widows, young mothers and girls. They work with and support vulnerable women who have resorted to prostitution in order to support their children. They work hard to raise vital HIV/AIDS awareness and also work closely with families to encourage stable family life. Members also visit those in prison, in hospital and in orphanages to provide emotional and physical support.
Mothers' Union members: 450,000