10 Reasons Zoe Empowers is Unlike Other Children’s Charities

Zoe Empowers started as a relief-based organization with short-term, marginal results. In the early 2000s, the AIDS pandemic devastated communities in sub-saharan Africa, leaving hundreds of thousands of orphaned children in its wake. Globally, there was a push to donate to Africa, support orphan charities, sponsor an orphan, and fundraise for an orphanage. Zoe Empowers […]

Sheeja was a Grieving Daughter Looking for Hope

Sheeja was in school when she got the news: Her father had suffered a stroke.  At first, Sheeja thought there had been a mistake. Someone had confused her father with another man. Her father was healthy. He had only just turned forty. He worked all-day shifts for as long as Seeja could remember.  Sheeja and […]

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, […]

An Unexpected Challenger

When Ann married a man she barely knew at age 14, she believed the union was the only quick fix to escape her household, where an abusive step-father made life unbearable.  Ann’s situation is not uncommon in Kenya, a country ranking 18th highest in the world for the absolute number of women married or in […]

Reversing a Cultural Narrative

When Sangavi was born, her parents considered her a curse.  The firstborn daughter in an Indian culture overly concerned with producing male offspring, Sangavi was a disappointment and thought to be a considerable burden. So, Sangavi’s parents did what most other Indian parents would do: They conceived again, this time saying extra prayers for a […]

Josephat’s Bridge to Success

Josephat always felt like his ambition never aligned with his life circumstances.  He loved to be in school, but his parents could not afford the fees. There were often gaps in his enrollment, dropping out to work for several weeks or months at a time. Then, inevitably, through sheer will and determination, he would scrape […]

How Chickens Turned Into a Home

A busy paved road runs through the village center of Chimwaza, Malawi. On either side is an assortment of tattered-looking shops, freestanding kiosks and persistent peddlers ready to serve the steady stream of loitering locals there to eat, shop and socialize.  Two years ago, entering this scene would have invoked shame and anxiety for Mike […]

One Big Sister’s Great Responsibility

Growing up as an only child, Millicent had a close relationship with her parents. Their family blended into the conventional standards of the rural Kenyan village in which they resided: A breadwinner father who provided a comfortable life for his family.  Millicent attended school, lived in a safe home, had access to nutritious meals, water, […]

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 […]