Rona Foundation – Impact Overview

Story of Change

Mary Kere and Monica Oniare’s stories

What is your occupation and how did you hear about Rona Foundation?
Monica Oniare
Monica Oniare – farmer by profession
“I came into contact with Rona Foundation about 5years ago when I attended my local area chief’s baraza.
I work to mobilize and empower widows within my community, where I lead a group of 14 members, and support 15 others in Komolo”.

Mary Kere – Tailor by Profession
“I came into contact with Rona Foundation in the year 2015 after being introduced by my friend Syprose Okumu (now late) who was a widow working with them. We worked as foot-soldiers to mobilize widows within our community. We formed a group of about 400 widows that has since grown in number and I am currently the leader of Amalo widows constituting of 25 members, in Rarieda”.

Tell us about your Rona Foundation Journey

“The discrimination against women and more so widows is common in my community. Most widows are not informed about their rights. The cultural practices within my community for instance ‘ter’ (wife inheritance) is very common and widowed women are sometimes forced to go through it. Through our sharing, I came to learn of the suffering of other widows who had been chased out of their matrimonial homes after the death of their husbands or their properties taken away from them. When Rona came and started training us I was able to learn about my rights. We also learnt on how we can save and loan ourselves money through widow groups…
“I am now able to speak up in forums on widow’s issues and train fellow widows on their rights and how to access government loans since my group has benefited from Thamini Loan by WEF, a confidence I have gained through capacity building by Rona Foundation.”
Monica Oriare.

“My group uses story-telling and theatre to create awareness on widow rights, we educate fellow widows on self and collective agency through Rona’s empowerment. I lead the group and cast the characters. This has done wonders within the community and has made some stakeholders more responsive in terms of taking up widow issues.”
Mary Kere.

Impact Overview

  • Education: Established one new primary school, supported 5 others, with 89% school transition rate of girls and boys in 2020-2021 from 35% in 2013 when the project started.
  • Empowerment: Over 10,000 widows and male champions have received know your rights, protect and sustain and financial literacy education.
  • Health: Established one new health centre. With Over 50,000 people supported to access medical care by September 2022.
  • Policy: One widows charter submitted to the county Assembly of Siaya in 2020.
  • Agriculture: Rona Centre embraces vegetable and livestock keeping, with 3000 orphans and 500 elderly widows offered food and care support.
  • Climate Change: 30 climate change champions trained as builders of energy saving jikos and 5 schools mapped for an environmental pilot project intervention for tree planting in 2022.
  • Organisation & Governance: staff & board are informed and active gender champions, with improved uptake of policies, including financial & MEL polices and processes. Our programming has reported 90% improvement in delivery & outcome harvesting from 50% in 2020.
  • Governance and Leadership: 3 widow MCAs elected in Siaya county out of 4 women.

Our Reach and Impact Achieved in 2022

  • 79,000 people (widows & male champions) accessed know your rights, GBV protect and sustain knowledge with 11,400 widows accessed micro credit support through 80 self-organised groups dubbed ROSALO.
  • 56 students supported. i.e 6 in primary schools, 18 in secondary schools, 6 in ROTAS and 26 in TIVETS and Universities.
  • 550 widows and 600 OVCs received Care and support through the Rona Centre.
  • 2 widow dignity houses built in 2022.
  • 54 GBV cases reported, monitored and supported for legal action with 90 % success rate.
  • 7 radio stations – 3 national, and 4 community radios with a reach of 3 million listeners per show 6 times. Also 2 podcasts, youtube, facebook and other online platforms were also reached to increase awareness beyond the project geographical reach with about 2500 views and 750 engagements an all platforms
  • 3 million listeners/viewers reached 6 times through media platforms.
  • 9 Opeds and 8 blogs published.
  • 50% learners increased from 47 to 65 at the Rona School with expansion from class 3 to 5 with 5 to 9 teachers by December 2022.
  • 8,450 trees planted at the Rona Centre i.e 1800 assorted trees, 400 fruits, 3850 kayabas and 2400 flowers & established a tree nursery with over 2000 assorted tree seedlings.
  • 20 participants trained i.e 8 widows and 12 male champions as builders with 45 energy saving stoves built through the GIZ partnership.
  • 1 multi-year grant secured to integrate widow networks into climate change discourse and actions.

Our Reach and Impact Achieved in 2021

  • 79,000 people (widows & male champions) accessed know your rights, GBV protect and sustain knowledge with 168 cases supported for legal action.
  • 12,000 widow accessed micro credit support through self-organized groups dubbed ROSALO.
  • 15 teen mothers and 12 young men in Siaya villages enrolled in technical training colleges and universities.
  • 15 students transitioned to secondary schools, and 3000 orphans offered care support.
  • 3 million listeners/viewers reached 18 times through media outlets.