Tegemeza in Swahili means “to support”.
Tegemeza was founded in 2014 after our family returned from an extended trip to Kenya. While in Mombasa, Kenya, we met a wonderful faith-filled woman by the name of Mama Rose.
She founded the Crisis Centre for Carers also known as Triple C. The Centre’s mission is to offer counselling, support and education to caretakers who have no other support. As a result of HIV/AIDs in Kenya, many parents have died leaving the very young or the very old to care for families and extended families. There has been a dramatic rise in unemployment (currently approx. 40% up from 13% in 2006) in Kenya so many are out of work.
We learned of 12 year olds caring for siblings on their own with no parents or grandparents. We heard from widows who are not only trying to raise their own children, but also their nieces and nephews who have become orphaned. We met elderly grandparents who are trying to care for an extended family on their own. They have no income, no government support and no hope. These caretakers need support so they can continue their care for their families.
When we asked what we could do for them, they asked for love, prayer and to be heard. They just want hope and felt they received it by having us there to hear and share their stories. They were excited and encouraged to know someone back in Canada cared.
We were so impressed with Mama Rose’s mission and amazing work over the last 12 years with the Triple C Centre, we agreed to partner with her.
The Crisis Centre for Carers (Triple C ) is a community based, non-profit organization operating in Mombasa, Kenya. It’s major objectives are training and empowering caretakers, and connecting the community to build the future. From it’s inception, Triple C has done many holistic based activities which include, but are not limited to; personal and community counseling, grief and bereavement counseling, paralegal/advocacy, sex education, AID/HIV awareness, home visits, outreach education, seed planting, skills training.
We were hosted by the centre in December 2013 where we spent the day meeting men, women and children who have benefited from the centre. We also toured villages and visited some families in their homes.
From that moment on, our lives were changed. We fell in love with the people and their resilience. Our goal is to share their stories, their hopes, their fears and their dreams with you. We want to shed light on their struggles. They are strong, independent people who do not want a hand out, but perhaps a hand up; education and training to empower them and build independence.
These women have been trained in how to make jewelry from recycled garbage bags and paper to sell at markets and some have learned how to grow vegetables so they can feed their families. They have little to no land, so have to be resourceful with growing vegetables in plastic pots and/or containers. We saw one home where they had used an old, discarded fridge placed on it’s side to grow plants at their front door.
Others have learned carpentry so they can make and sell furniture. We met a family who was given chickens to raise so they could be sold to provide income for their 3 small children. These initiatives have taken the vulnerable off the streets, sent children to school and into homes.
We want to provide funding to keep the centre open and running and to provide additional resources for education, food, and housing for orphan children.
Currently, the centre needs funds to keep their programs going. There are kids who are on the street and there are kids who go for days without food. Some needs are urgent, immediate and basic. Others focus on the long term solutions.
Mama Rose visits up to 250 homes in a month by herself without personal transportation. A widow herself, she knows firsthand the suffering she