Empowering women is the most important engine of change in any society and is exactly why SCF places so much emphasis on unbiased access to quality training for women, especially widows who find it difficult to make a decent living. SCF was initiated in 2011 by a small group of widows who came together to form a network to grieve and share their experiences and find a return to society and their loss. In December 2018, SCF began health and wellness awareness events aimed at training the widows in their responsibility for health and hygiene. SCF engaged doctors from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) to talk to the widows about sanitation, hygiene and many diseases and conditions; HIV, blood pressure, diabetes, ulcers, depression, STIs - their prevention, treatment and/or management). SCF in collaboration with the doctors conducted a rapid medical screening for the widows in August 2019.

SCF organizes two monthly awareness events (ShillohFest). All SCF events are currently held in a rented hall, but SCF is already looking for a piece of land to build and purchase a community centre for skills training, entrepreneurial development and other intended community activities. During the events, SCF provides at least 10, 20 litres of water purifiers to the widows; this is part of water education and promoting health and wellness, by eradicating water-borne diseases. SCF successfully distributed over 80 water purifiers to the widows in the last 8 events from December 2018 to February 2020.

As the number of widows increases, the cost of organizing the events also increases. To achieve its sustainable development goals and to really change the lives of the widows and move to the other phases of SCF - elderly and orphans - SCF is in the process of buying a piece of land and the first project would be digging a well and a toilet to facilitate better sanitation. The well will provide clean water and will be built with tanks and taps as standard; SCF hopes to partner with Pamoja Kenya Foundation on this project. The community will take the water at minimal cost and the proceeds will be used by the widows to start a tree nursery at the centre. Later SCF will start building an activity hall that will be used for training. SCF will be able to rent out this hall and the proceeds will be used to purchase training materials and cover the costs of trainers and experts.

SCF believes in working closely with community organizations, SCF has partnered with Nyando Valley Development Trust, sponsored by Homalime Company, to establish tree nurseries, and for agricultural, veterinary and artificial insemination services for widows practising farming. Through the company, the Trust has also agreed to train the widows in poultry farming and crafts. In February, the first group was trained in poultry farming and a pilot group was each given a few chicks to care for. The project manager is monitoring, recording and will report their progress.

SCF also plans to work with the Trust to market the widows' products; milk, maize, sugarcane, timber or other forms of production - once they are established.

SCF is in talks with Koru Polytechnic about the possibility of training the younger widows at subsidized rates in tailoring & design, beauty therapy and hair treatment.

A common concept in Africa is that death does not end a marriage. The widow is expected to continue to fulfil her obligations to her deceased husband by participating in cultural and traditional activities; traditionally this would ensure her well-being and safety at home with her children. This is not the case in most societies today, but instead, the same custom has been used to oppress and exploit widows. There is therefore a great need to bridge the gap created by the isolation and exclusion of widows; SCF hopes to bridge the gap between the reality in the widows' homes and the rest of society. See the chart below.


The chart provides an overview of the different levels/segments of society that widows try to enter after the death of their spouses. The experiences vary and are largely determined by different factors; for those who have come to SCF, the stories are endless, but the beauty is in their courage and determination as they make their way into society. What happens within the circles sometimes determines which side of the arrow the widows find themselves on.