Kenya (MNN) — Today is International Widows Day, designated by the United Nations to raise awareness of the world’s 258 million widows and their challenges. Nearly one in ten of the world’s widows live in extreme poverty.
“We teach literacy because 98 percent of these widows do not know how to read and write. We start teaching them the Bible chronologically,” Executive Director Joy Mueller says.
Countless widows worldwide are like Emily* – forced to marry at a young age, then left to fend for themselves and their children. “She was married at about the age of 20, right when [the pandemic began] in January ,” Mueller says.
“In June, her husband had a severe asthmatic attack and died. She gave birth to their son in December of 2020.”
Last year, Emily’s in-laws told her to relocate. “In Kenyan culture, his family gets to dictate everything that she does. They said she needed to move to live near her mother-in-law, who needed help,” Mueller says.
“It took us an hour-and-a-half [navigating] down this little trail to get to her ‘house;’ it was [made of] sticks, and rain was coming through,” Mueller continues.
“I was just about in tears when I saw how desperate her housing situation was.”
Through sponsorship, you can help a widow like Emily gain the skills she needs to support herself. Help change a widow’s life through Kenya Hope.
Ask the Lord to help young widows “who desire to remain pure, as the Bible asked them to do, but have all these cultural mandates and pressures” to remarry and have children, Mueller requests.
“Pray for us as an organization that we would know how to address these situations in a loving, biblical, and cultural way. Pray that we can impact maybe rescuing some of these women out of such tragic situations.”
In the header image, a widow receives goats through Kenya Hope’s “Widows’ Might” program so she can begin a small herd to support her family. Header and story images courtesy of Kenya Hope.