Janet Tinsley, CFCA International programs – Africa project director, reflects on the many ways the India mothers groups have inspired sponsored mothers in Kenya.
The culture of creativity and courage that Fr. Francis (the late Father Francis Thumma), the Hyderabad team and the sponsored mothers set into motion extends far beyond the borders of India.
A spirit of cooperation and ingenuity has always been present on the African continent, but recently the CFCA community in Nairobi, Kenya, became inspired by Hyderabad’s example of the culture of creativity and courage.
Janet and CFCA-Nairobi project coordinator, Peter, in India.
The CFCA-Nairobi project coordinator, Peter Ndungo, and I immersed ourselves in the Hyderabad spirit in an inspirational visit and exchange of ideas at the Hyderabad project last November. Immediately upon Peter’s return to Kenya, the Nairobi project team began taking steps to put the sponsorship resources into the hands of the Nairobi mothers through sponsored mothers groups.
The Nairobi mothers had some setbacks as a result of post-election violence that broke out in Kenya just after the first of this year. The mothers, who primarily live in Nairobi’s sprawling slums, come from a mixture of backgrounds, and when the politically motivated violence took on an ethnic tone, it threatened to tear apart the communities they had only recently begun forming. Tapping into their own limitless creativity, the Nairobi mothers are now courageously putting their political and ethnic differences aside and are examples of peace in their communities through the sponsored mothers groups they are now re-forming.
Because of the inspiration set in motion by Fr. Francis, the Hyderabad sponsored mothers and the project team, the sponsored mothers in Nairobi have started reclaiming their own creativity and courage.