My name is Hellen Kyambi Kimanzi, and I come from Mwingi Central in Kitui County. My project is called Help a Widow Save a Life. It is an initiative geared towards empowering widowed women economically by helping them establish and sustain micro-businesses. Together with the widows, we design projects that help us raise money. That money is then used to set up small businesses for them to generate income from.

My motivation to initiate this project was from the experience of my two elder sisters. They lost their husbands in 2013. I watched them live lacking basic necessities like clothing and food. Therefore, I saw a need to empower them and other widows in my community in order to be self-sustaining of their needs.

I heard about Akili Dada through social media. I was on Facebook and read about the past fellows’ experiences and reflections. On the website, I found more amazing and inspiring stories from young girls and women setting their sight towards leadership. I wanted to make a change in my community, just like the other past fellows. That motivated me to apply for the fellowship.

Help a Widow Save a Life initiative is addressing several SDGs. They include: SDG 1 No Poverty, SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities and SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities. The main goal for my project is to find lasting solutions to end poverty amongst widows through implementation of sustainable micro-businesses.

Since I was young, I have always been a go-getter. In my personal time, I enjoy watching football matches and playing handball. I also enjoy a nice meal. Pilau and chicken is my favorite. If IĀ could change anything about this world, I would address inequality so that everyone can afford the basic necessities, like food and shelter. If inequality is eradicated, poverty will automatically be swept away.

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