Risper rises up to challenge gender bias

After three years of running her own grocery business, Risper has a system. At a market in rural Kenya, she piles tomatoes and green peppers into neat, heaping rows. She adds onions and papaya to the table then arranges stacks of cilantro before chopping cabbage and lettuce to sell in individual bags.  Across the aisle, […]

From Hopelessness to Hope, Clarisse tells her story.

The sun was almost set when Clarisse climbed up the mango tree. Warm tears traced her cheeks as she processed what she was about to do. She had no choice, she believed and only wanted a way to stop the pain.  Since her parents and eldest brother went to prison a few years ago, Clarisse’s […]

A small grocery business gives Glory a new perspective

In early March, Glory arrived at a Zoe Empowers information meeting in the rural village of Ntuti, Kenya. Wearing ripped jeans, tinted red from dust, and a stocking hat to cover hair she couldn’t afford to maintain, Glory was timid and joyless as she explained her situation to Zoe Empowers staff members.   The nineteen year […]

Winfred’s rise to resilience and motherhood

Nearly three years ago, on a warm July afternoon in Kenya, Winfred grabbed a jerry-can and walked toward the river. The task of gathering water was standard for the seventeen-year-old, who had acquired the role of primary caretaker for her four younger siblings. Their mother had become an alcoholic following the death of their father, […]

A Portrait of Gratitude

Chenesai was ready and waiting outside when the visitors arrived.  On the ground, unable to walk with legs tucked to one side, wrists crossed in her lap, she takes in the unfamiliar scene unfolding in front of her: three Americans, along with a few faces she recognizes as Zoe Empowers Zimbabwe staff, have just parked […]

Life Beyond an Orphanage

After being found on the streets when she was one day old, Esther was taken to an orphanage in the Northern Province of Rwanda, joining the ranks of tens of thousands of other parentless children in the orphanage system across Africa. When she turned 14, Esther moved to another orphanage in the Southern Province where […]

From Lockdown to Enslavement

Although fighting the pandemic is far from over, the conversation within Zoe Empowers has already shifted to questions about the future: What new challenges will the most vulnerable children be facing now and in the future? After implementing a plan to support the children in the empowerment program who have been most impacted by Coronavirus […]

Crisis resiliency is a marathon, not a sprint

When learning a new skill, the second attempt is always a little easier than the first. On the third and fourth try, there is a sense of familiarity. By the fifth, tenth, twentieth time and beyond, muscle memory kicks in as we work toward mastery.  The concept of repetition is proven true whether the goal […]

Nowhere to go: Street children cope with isolation orders

To control the spread of the novel Coronavirus, countries around the world have asked its people to stay inside to practice social distancing. Social distancing involves keeping space (6 feet is recommended by the CDC) between yourself and other people outside your home, avoiding large groups, mass gatherings and crowded places.  The recommendation to social […]