From the US with a mission to empower
When Faith Mwaura got admission to a Texas university in the US in 2000, she was sure she would be on the next plane back home after her studies.
Being her first time away from her close-knit family and country, Faith felt lonely and homesick.
“I had to learn how to manage finances, where to get good food and make new friends. I was only 18,” said Faith, who prefers to be called by her nickname, Imani.
After graduating with an associate degree in communications, the first born in a family of five knew it was time to return to Kenya, but her biggest dilemma was what would she do afterwards.
Having been brought up in a Christian family, Imani was not sure whether to go into ministry like her parents or not, but an event in Houston, Texas caused her to change her perspective.
Her father is a chaplain while her mother is a retired teacher.
“I was invited to speak at a ladies’ conference and I had no idea what I would speak about,” she said. So she decided to call her mother for advice.
“You have been called to empower women. Do not excuse yourself from that meeting. Go and speak from your heart!”
This is what she told her. So she took up the challenge and attended the forum. The response from the audience confirmed to her what her calling was.
“After the conference, I realised that I had something to do for women. I began preparations to return home, but I did not know how to start a women’s empowerment initiative.”
Luckily she got connected with three women who were then visiting the US, and together they started Divas Galore, a non-denominational group that seeks to impart life, financial and investment skills to women.
The group targets women aged between 20 and 40 years.
“We discuss investment options, personal grooming and relationships.”
She hopes that the group can expand, and start financial empowerment programmes where women can easily access services.
“We hope we can start women friendly projects such as day-care and beauty centres and micro-finance facilities to help them improve their living standards,” she added.