Joyce: ‘I stand up for empowerment and protection’ 

Joyce and her family are involved with Dorcas Kenya through their daughter, who is part of the sponsorship programme. 

Joyce: ‘I stand up for empowerment and protection because I want to claim my rights and shape policies that affect my future. Before I got involved in the Dorcas programme, I was not involved in major decision making and struggled to do so as a woman. I did not feel empowered and was not able to access markets. Furthermore, at that time I did not find education for my children a priority and I struggled to speak out against harmful cultural practises that affected my children. I also did not openly have conversations with my children about sensitive topics, like sex-education. It was common that this was left to teachers in schools to handle.’

‘Our family got connected to Dorcas through my daughter, who was part of the sponsorship programme. Through the programme, I have received some training on positive parental skills. This has had a major positive impact on my relationship with my children. Looking back, I realise that harmful taboos negatively affected my children. People are not just physical beings, but also moral and spiritual beings. Human rights advocates need to focus on protecting and preserving the sense of common humanity. To ensure that every individual can live a life of dignity and a life that is worthy of a human being. Certain issues are sensitive in our community, but it is important to conduct sensitisation forums on these issues, so the community becomes more aware of harmful behaviours. These forums will support parents to talk and discuss more openly with their children how this is affecting them.’

‘I have also been trained on the “Village Saving and Lending Association” (VSLA) by Dorcas and this has taught me the importance of saving money weekly and has changed my life drastically. Now, I can access loans through “table banking” and this has enabled me to buy an iron sheet house, while before I lived in a mud house. Additionally, our livelihood strategies and farming yields have improved, and I can now pay school fees for my younger children and feed my family.’  

‘My hope is that more people will be reached and will access the trainings I received, so more lives are improved, as mine has.’

This story is part of Dorcas’ human rights campaign. Read more stories and statements on our dedicated human rights page.

03 December 2023

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