Rona Foundation – What We Do
We work to advance and protect widows’ rights in Kenya, as well as providing support to fatherless orphans.
We also educate both men and women in the community to respond and report sexual-gender-based violence.
Our 4 Step Process Cycle with Immediate Outcome is Staff Transformation, Reflect with Community, Plan Action and Action.
Our Domains of Change are:
- Increasing Agency: With Immediate Outcomes in SGBV, Decision Making, Access and Control over Resources, Mobility, Self-Efficacy – knowledge, Skills & Confidence and Participation in Public Sphere.
- Strengthening Relations: Outcome Areas are SGBV, Quality of Relations with partner and with family, including to access and control over resources, Increased Social Capital (Bonding, Bridging) etc.
- Transforming Structures: Outcomes Areas are SGBV, Gender Norms – Perceptions and Attitudes, Community level Structures, Service Provider, Collective Efficacy, Policy – County, National, Government and Global Level.
- Advancing Inclusion: Outcome Areas are Governance and Leadership, Climate Change and Justice, and Environmental Advocacy.
Our sector specific Indicators are:- (for more info See RMF – MEL Framework)*
- Life Free from Violence
- Widows Economic Empowerment
- Food & Nutrition Security
- Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights.
- Climate Change Makers
*RMF: Results Measurement Framework
MEL Framework: Monitoring Evaluation and Learning Framework
Our target is rural widows who suffer gender inequality, neglect, and undergo sexual gender-based violence in unspoken widowhood cultural practices that remain unchallenged. They undergo harmful traditional practices such as; stigma, ostracisation, property disinheritance, widow sexual cleansing, wife inheritance, shaving of hair, etc.
Rona advocates for outlawing of harmful cultural practices meted on women when they lose their husbands as well as empower rural widows in economic education.
Our mission is to empower rural widows to heal and thrive, and to revolutionise the future of widowhood through community interventions and policy.
Today we serve more than 8,000 widows aged between 29 to 80 years, with 83 % being 36-55 years and clustered in over 60 existing self-help organised widow groups, that run Rona savings and loaning programmes (ROSALO).
98% of rural widows focus on small scale business i.e.; fishing trade and agriculture.
In Kenya, rural widows are considered the poorest of the poor. The majority of rural widows live in extreme poverty (~1 USD a week).
They lack awareness of economic empowerment programmes, social and cultural norms that discourage them from practising key entrepreneurial behaviours, and/or starting income generating projects.
Women’s economic rights and opportunities in Kenya are undermined by gender, social and health status.
More so, women and girls bear the brunt of disproportionate care burdens, disruptions in income and education, poor access to health and lack of other essential services like sanitary towels. According to the *JIAS report, 63% widows are infected with Hiv/aids upon performing sexual rituals, with only 2.7% of widowed reported having used protection since the death of
their husbands in Luo Nyanza, with Siaya being amongst the top 3 leading counties in Nyanza. Yet widows remain invisible, and less thought of.
Rona conducts skills & capacity development trainings for rural widows with key focus on sustainable project in Health, Education, Agriculture and Climate Change.
To champion for protection and advancement of widow rights and to ensure rural widows in Kenya are protected from harmful cultural practices, discrimination and social-economic exclusion, alongside orphan education, care and support. And to revive communities with rural widows as change makers.
To create limitless potential for widows by improving widows rights and access to justice and resources, and to rebuild lives through a series of transformative workshops and programmes with enrichment opportunities that nurture self-expression, loss and grief sharing that stimulate positive growth and address emotional and cultural barriers for widows to realize their full potential.
- We offer understanding and compassion.
- We are committed to justice and social-transformation.
- We push boundaries as innovators.
- Teamwork and collaboration are at the heart of what we do.
- We nurture leadership, self-initiative and personal responsibility.
- We are consistently consistent and persistently persistent with a high level of integrity.
- We believe that all widows deserve dignity, respect, and equal opportunity.
Roll out WEEP and offer Matching grants to 40 widow groups.
Roll out a scholarship Programme (college & secondary education).
Roll out a climate justice programme through widow groups & schools.
Expand & build a primary school
Expand & Build Dispensary/Clinic
Build Cottage Rooms/modern kitchen
Install adequate solar/electricity.