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Lynne's campaign for Mrembo Africa

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Jambo from my Nairobi home, where my heart has found the joys of friendship and been moved and inspired by the many challenges I see around me each day. Nairobi is a city of contrasts, with beauty and modernization abutting poverty and struggle. Since I arrived four years ago, it has been my goal to make a difference, however small, in the lives of local women, refugee girls, and their children.

Together, my friend Alice Eshuchi and I created our partnership, Mrembo Africa, Beautiful Woman Africa, building on hope and faith. Together we are realizing our dream to empower women of poverty, extreme vulnerability, and gender based violence creating a community of women working together: Mothers striving to discover their strength, building confidence learning skills as artisans, working toward economic independence, across age, tribal and ethnic differences; Kenyans and refugees bonding through their common needs and goals to build new lives for themselves and their children. Today we are building our vision reaching out to women in impoverished communities, providing training and creating sustainable income producing fashions and textiles. Through partnerships we are continuing to find ways to help support these motivated girls and women seeking help and a way to move forward overcoming difficult challenges.

Those of you who know me well know how difficult it is for me to fundraise, to ask for donations even to a cause that I work with each day, passionately believe in and support, Mrembo Africa. Yet here I am humbly reaching out, woman to woman, to mothers and grandmothers, (yes to men, fathers as well), to support the new initiative I have founded with my Kenyan friend and partner, Alice Eshuchi, to empower our growing group of women from ‘communities of poverty’, Nairobi’s infamous slums. I am launching my appeal through FACEBOOK and GO FUND ME to friends involved in women’s groups, Book Clubs, schools, neighborhood and church groups, to adopt, sponsor, and partner with us to help us grow and support our motivated women here in Nairobi and hopefully beyond.

Our Goals:
Through the generous donations of friends and family we now have 6 treadle sewing machines (electricity is very expensive and unreliable) at $200 each, needing to reach a goal of at least 25 (hopefully more), to be able to employ the women already eagerly waiting to work full and part time. Currently we are only able to use a rotation to give a number of women the opportunity to participate, to learn through training in tailoring and earn as they produce.
Donations will also be used to purchase materials for production, for trainers, daily transport, and wages, to enable us to move forward creating centers for training women in sewing and tailoring, meeting orders and making items for sale. We are also seeking grants, corporate sponsors, and divine intervention - anything to help and support the hopes of these wonderful women whose lives inspire and motivate me.
Since I returned to my Nairobi home and family to join Alice on the ground working with our Mrembo Africa initiative, we have found an ever growing number of women eager for the opportunity to learn and earn and participate in our enterprises and expanding contributions to partnerships in fashion and decor. Moving forward, our Mrembo Africa women are working together on beading and jewelry making, scarves, swim cover-ups and sarongs, handbags and backpacks, pillows and cushions, using hand made tie dye and African kitenge fabric. Through Modeliste Magazine Mode for Meaning, we have been invited to begin a partnership with women’s empowerment Songa Designs in Rwanda. Our newest exciting partnership is supplying Toto Care Baby Boxes, a group providing baby boxes and prenatal training in Kenya based on  the Finnish model. We are joining them with their dreams of a movement across Africa providing baby boxes, saving babies and mothers. Through our outreach, Mrembo Africa now has a new group of aunties who have joined us crocheting baby blankets, happy to revive a nearly forgotten skill.
Thank you to wonderful friends everywhere for your kindness and generosity  supporting the beautiful women of Nairobi with Opportunity and Hope.

With gratitude always,
Lynne Chizzick, Nairobi


Lynne Chizzick
Huntington Beach, CA

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