Fidelis Wambui Karanja – WOMAN of ACTION™

 

A Celebration of Women™

Celebrates the Life of this powerful human being that has offered her life to the bettering of the lives of others. Drawing from her inner strength and never giving up as she faced one obstacle after the next, this powerhouse is now the founder of an organization designed to provide women survivors of war, civil strife, gender based violence and young women in distress with tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency.

 
 

WOMAN of ACTION™

 

 

Fidelis Wambui Karanja

 
 

I am Fidelis Wambui Karanja, a female aged 39 years old. I reside in Kenya where I was born and brought up. In my family we were 23 siblings. My father was a polygamous. My father had a burden of educating us but most of us went up to senior secondary school where in Kenya is known as form four. In 1991 sat for my fourth form exams which I managed to get a C+. During this time the cutoff point to public university was B and due to my grades I did not manage to go join a public university. I tried to secure place in several tertiary colleges my parents were not able to send me to a college. I settled for clerical jobs with different firms and institutions but I had a strong desire to serve other people.

In 1994- 1998, I served in a private hospital Pine Breeze Hospital as a cashier I interacted with different people and had I good relationship with the nurses in the hospital. I liked how the nurses handled the patients took care of them and my desire to serve others grew even more.

I saved some money where I joined a social work college. I took part time course in the evening for two years. In 2004, I joined Faidi Kenya a nongovernmental organization.

Faidi Kenya used to lead women money to start or boost their business as this was their core business though they had other social services such training on human rights etc. When I joined this organization I realized that this was my chance to serve my fellow Kenyan women so that they could afford to take their children to school feed them.

I worked as field officer for two years and recruited more than five thousand members. I was later promoted to a credit officer due to my hand work. Unfortunately lack was not on my side, in 2007 December Kenya went to a general election that led different communities into conflict. My community was unwanted in the area of our operation. I traveled to my rural area for Christmas and by 2008 January, our office we lost everything. It was burned down and we started receiving threatening phone calls not to report back to work in that area. I could not go back to my work station and since Faidi concentrated on one region I could not get a transfer so I lost my job.

Kenya 2008 as result of disputed presidential elections, made me realize a need in championing peace trainings among women to become peace builders and conflict prevention agents and how to women should be holistically be empowered.


 

This thought lead to conception of YOUNG AFRICAN WOMEN INITIATIVE (YAWI).

I did not have funds to set up the organization, I talked to a few women friends with whom we registered YAWI self help group. The group was so limited in reaching out to the women in the larger community. Most of my fellow women gave up and could not sacrifice their time to educate women on peace or offer any other help.
 
 

I was left alone with my vision of a society where women were empowered and free from any form of oppression.”

In March 2008 I joined AFRICA LEADERSHIP AND RECONCILIATION MINISTRIES as a volunteer. During this period ALARM was dealing with peace building and reconciliation matters. I volunteered in the women department dealing with survivors of political strife. I trained many women on small business and advanced credit to rebuild their lives.

On January 2010; I Joined ALARM in the regional office as full time staff where I worked as a micro finance trainer. I trained women in war torn countries that is Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda Burundi and Congo in business skill and accessing credit for their business. I worked with ALARM till 2011 where my contract was not renewed due to economic hardships.

Again I lost my job. Losing my job was really devastating because I thought I had a good chance to serve the women of Africa. I was really angry and since then vowed I will never search for a job again.

My passion for serving the women of Africa leads me to register YOUNG AFRICAN WOMEN INITIATIVE as NGO that will address the needs of women holistically. This is a place I feel that no one will destabilize me again and I will achieve my goal.

In 2012 January YAWI was fully registered, we got a certificate. We hit the ground running. We moved to the slums where I had contacts with self settled refugee women. We have done several trainings on peace, human rights and we started a micro credit program. The in the program women get skills and funds to start small business.

We moved to the rural areas in Maasai community, electricity is farfetched dream that may never be realized in the near future. Women have hazardous way of lighting their homes. We came up with a program of LIGHT IS BASIC where women are provided with solar lanterns to light their homes and for children to study.
 

My vision is provide women survivors of war, civil strife, Gender based violence and young women in distress with tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency. Promoting viable civil societies changing Africa woman one at a time. With vision for Africa woman to live in a changed world with integrity, peace, prosperity, respect and free of any oppression.

 

 

She is sure YAWI will provide the right platform to realize the dream.

 

FIND FIDELIS HERE

 

A Celebration of Women™

is honored to welcome this power of example in perseverence into our Alumni of WOMEN of ACTION™.

 

 

Brava Fidelis!

 
 

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