It’s Up To Us: Sophia Wanjiku’s Story
The Mastercard Foundation recently embarked on a project to tell stories of resilience and innovation in response to the global pandemic. One organization that has partnered with Mastercard Foundation is the Billian Music Family’s Resource and Leadership Centre. The centre is a CBO in Mathare supporting children, youth, women & children with disabilities.
Below is Sophia Wanjiku’s story, a woman who has greatly benefited from this project in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sophia Wanjiku’s Story
My name is Sophia Wanjiku, popularly known as Mama Peter. I am a 43-year-old mum. I reside in Mathare Area.
COVID-19 virus has changed the way I live and work today, but my hope for a brighter future has not been shaken.
Before the virus hit Kenya, I was hawking household items in Mathare Area. When the pandemic hit, my small business was severely affected due to the nationwide lockdown and curfew necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was particularly challenging for me as a single mother because I am raising a child who is living with disabilities.
I did not lose hope despite the challenges facing me. So, mid last year, I joined the Billian Music Family who are working with the Mastercard Foundation to sensitize communities around Mathare about the COVID-19 virus.
I joined other women to make facemasks, a skill that quickly picked up. I am now making masks for my community. From this work, I earn an income from which I can pay rent and buy food.
Also, working at the Billian Music Family Centre is a huge relief for me because I access free day-care and physiotherapy sessions for my child.
You see, despite the challenges I faced, I was able to adapt to the situation fast. From hawking household items, now I make facemasks that are not only helping me, but also my fellow community members.
I see my work as an important role in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus because more people have access to facemasks.
In the evening as I walk to my house, I feel joy when I see people going about their business wearing facemasks that I have made.
I encourage the jobless women in my community not to give up. I encourage them to be hopeful, adapt fast and acquire any new skill such as making facemasks or soap and sell in small portions to earn a living.
Every day, I work to protect myself, my family, and my community.
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