Happy International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day

This #InternationalWomensDay, we have plenty to celebrate…

We know that helping women and girls to unlock their full potential is key to building a brighter future. That’s why this #InternationalWomensWeek we are holding a Facebook Fundraiser to fund 45 women in Kenya to become accredited hair & beauty therapists and grow their own small businesses!  And best of all, all donations (up to £500) will be DOUBLED, thanks to two of our dedicated supporters of the Women’s Skills Training.

To see for yourself the difference our skills training courses make, I want to share with you Beth’s story.

20-year-old Beth comes from Tharaka-Nithi County, an extremely challenged part of Eastern Kenya. She is a single mother of two young children, Dylan and Destiny.

Beth is one of the 35 women on our current accredited Hair & Beauty skills training course who have been victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence and forced marriage at a young age.

She says,

“I’m happy that this course lets me live a life of peace. With these new skills I can build a good life and pay for a good education for my kids.”

Beth is looking forward to completing the course next month and giving her children the opportunities she never received as a child.

Two long-term supporters of our skills training courses for women in Kenya have personally pledged to match donations to our #InternationalWomensWeek fundraising campaign on Facebook.

How it works…
1. Go to our #InternationalWomensWeek fundraising campaign using this link:
https://www.facebook.com/donate/650730419567335/2. Donate to our Facebook #InternationalWomensWeek fundraising campaign at any time between 8th – 11th March!3. Your donation will be matched (up to £500) by our generous match-funders.4. Tell your friends and family!
There’s no better time to support vulnerable young mothers by giving them opportunities that are otherwise unavailable to them!

We want to work with you to build a gender-equal future for women in Kenya.

Will you donate today to give opportunities to vulnerable young mothers and encourage them as they step away from poverty?

Jacinta’s parents died when she was young and she has lived with her grandmother ever since. She became a mother herself when she turned 20 years old. When she was 23, Jacinta enrolled on our skills training course at International peace Initiatives in 2016.

Jacinta was determined to turn her life around and worked hard on the hairdressing course so she could succeed and give her daughter a better life by sending her to a good school. She didn’t want her daughter to be forced into sex work.After graduating in 2017, Jacinta said,

“I had a Primary education, but there was nobody to support me to go to Secondary School or University. I had no choice but to join sex work to earn money. There was no other way I could feed myself, my grandmother, and my 3-year-old daughter. Life in the streets is actually traumatising, we deal with people from all walks of life. When the training course was introduced to me I felt like I was born afresh. I was ready to change my life.”

Four years later, Jacinta has changed her life for the better. She is now self-employed, running a successful salon which offers hair and beauty services to her local community. She gives back to International Peace Initiatives by offering work experience placements to the women and girls who are currently enrolled on our skills training course, and supports local women to move away from commercial sex work.

“There are lots of opportunities for me now, and I can give opportunities to other women and girls. Thanks to the training given by Ecologia and IPI, my daughter now attends the best school in the area – she’s so bright and doing well in lessons”.

Your generosity this #InternationalWomensWeek means so much to vulnerable young mothers in Kenya, like Beth. You make it possible for them to change their lives around for the long-term.

Thank you for doing your part to inspire, empower and change the lives of women and children in Kenya.

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susie Kemp

Susie has 30+ experience as a creative copywriter, editor, and proofreader, starting out as a 20-year-old copywriter in the Mad Men world of early 1990s advertising in South Africa. Ever since, she’s had a love affair with creative conceptualisation, thinking outside of the box, writing to a deadline, and being thrown in the deep end!

She took an MSc in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University as a mature student, in 2015, and continues to keep herself busy working as a copy-editor, proofreader and copywriter in book publishing, corporate communications, and publishing project management.

Apart from her love of working with independent authors, Susie has a fondness for working in the third sector and likes to use her corporate communications and marketing experience to support projects close to her heart. She has lived and worked in the Findhorn area for 25 years, and has been involved in a number of third sector projects and organisations, and family businesses.

Working at Ecologia Youth Trust helps Susie to live in integrity with her values of supporting the next generation to be the best that they can be, and she sees it as a way to give back to Mama Africa, the beloved continent on which she was born.

Ellen Shaw

Ellen joined the Ecologia team in June 2018 as Marketing and Communications Manager. Ellen has lived in Scotland for 6 years and has worked for non-profit and charitable organisations across varied fields. She currently shares her passion for helping young people through Ecologia Youth Trust and she works as a dancer and dance teacher in her spare time.

Robyn Cooper

Robyn is the Associate Director of International Projects, having previously worked within the team as a Project Development and Marketing Officer from April 2019 until May 2021. As Associate Director, Robyn is co-leading the International side of Ecologia with Founder and Director, Liza Hollingshead, bringing a new energy into Ecologia as they look towards the future of the charity.

Liza Hollingshead

Liza is the founder of Ecologia and Director of International Projects. She was born and educated in South Africa and worked there as a high school teacher. She moved to live in the Findhorn Community in 1974. She started Ecologia in 1995 after being introduced to Dmitry Morozov, the founder of Kitezh Children’s Community in Russia, and was inspired to support the community in its mission to rescue orphaned children from institutions and give them homes, families and education in a supportive environment.

This led to projects supporting disadvantaged youth and children in South East Asia and in East Africa. TRead more about Liza’s story here.