Uma’s Sweet Success

In the heart of Chennai’s bustling streets lies a vibrant oasis called Nila Ice Cream. The small shop is owned and operated by Uma, 20, who spent weeks painting the walls in fun colors and celestial murals, hand-making decor, and procuring seating. Every detail she selected has intention and purpose. “I chose yellow for the […]

Against All Odds: Pascaline and her family of ten.

Zoe Empowers helped Pascaline find stability for her family of ten. Extreme poverty befell Pascaline and her family four years ago.  It happened in a matter of days following the death of Pascaline’s mother. The family returned to their matriarch’s home village in rural Rwanda for the burial. There, Pascaline’s father swiftly abandoned his six […]

Priya Designs Her Dream

Priya becomes an award-winning designer. Priya was eleven years old when her father died. He had worked a modest job, and while his income had not been substantial, it supported a family of four living in Chennai, India. Priya’s mother stayed home while Priya and her younger brother, Gopi, attended school. After their father’s death, […]

From Program Member to Program Facilitator

Manley is no stranger to grief and hardship. After losing his mother in 2006 and then his father in 2008, he went to live with his aunt and uncle. Manley’s aunt used brutal ways of parenting: shouting, beating, corporal punishment, and food deprivation. She depleted him of the little confidence he had left. But still, […]

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 […]