Photo by Helene Wallart & Remy Simon

Photo by Helene Wallart & Remy Simon

 

Throughout Unite's journeys across East Africa, which began in 1991, we have met some truly extraordinary individuals from all walks of life who are committed to creating positive change in their communities, against all odds. When we come across these bright, talented, rare & precious souls, we want to do all we can to support them in their work to uplift and empower those living in greatest need. Some of the traits our “Warriors for Change” share include: 

  • Intelligence, experience, aptitude
  • Creative problem solving abilities, critical thinking,
  • Resilience and an inexplicable well of inner strength, 
  • A clear and specific vision for a better tomorrow, and
  • Unwavering faith in what is possible.

 

 

Unite has recently awarded grants to two NEW Warriors for Change: Philomena Eliakim Kivuyo & Mary Sebastian

  Philomena Eliakim Kivuyo   Philomena, 33, was born born in the Olgilai village of Arusha to a mother and father who survived as small-scale farmers. Philomena attained her form four secondary education at Enaboishu Secondary school and completed a basic computer course at Meserani. After that, she began her work handcrafting beaded jewelry and products and designing and sewing women's fashions.   Unite has been working with Philomena since early 2014. She was an original member of our former Women's Loan Program and repaid a number of loans that enabled her to obtain an indoor store stall at Maasai Marketplace in Arusha (after the market was burned to the ground and she lost everything from an arson attack) and to design and launch a new line of batik dresses, shirts, bags etc. Philomena has been successful enough to hire other girls to work with her as a way of teaching them self reliance by employing them and to support her two younger brothers in their education as well as the needs of her parents and extended family.   With her Warrior for Change grant, Philomena will take her business beyond the borders of Tanzania to participate in fashion and product shows across East and Southern Africa. We look forward to her greater success and growth as a young woman entrepreneur.    

Philomena Eliakim Kivuyo

Philomena, 33, was born born in the Olgilai village of Arusha to a mother and father who survived as small-scale farmers. Philomena attained her form four secondary education at Enaboishu Secondary school and completed a basic computer course at Meserani. After that, she began her work handcrafting beaded jewelry and products and designing and sewing women's fashions. 

Unite has been working with Philomena since early 2014. She was an original member of our former Women's Loan Program and repaid a number of loans that enabled her to obtain an indoor store stall at Maasai Marketplace in Arusha (after the market was burned to the ground and she lost everything from an arson attack) and to design and launch a new line of batik dresses, shirts, bags etc. Philomena has been successful enough to hire other girls to work with her as a way of teaching them self reliance by employing them and to support her two younger brothers in their education as well as the needs of her parents and extended family. 

With her Warrior for Change grant, Philomena will take her business beyond the borders of Tanzania to participate in fashion and product shows across East and Southern Africa. We look forward to her greater success and growth as a young woman entrepreneur. 

 

  Mary Sebastian   Mary lives in a small rented room on the outskirts of Arusha town. Her husband died more than 10 years ago and she was left with two young sons to raise on her own. While working in a quarry carrying huge stone loads on her head, she fell and broke her back. She was bedridden for almost a year and relied on the goodwill of strangers for her small family's survival. When Unite first met Mary in 2014 she was operating her own tiny business buying kankas (African fabrics) and walking many miles each way to and from Arusha with her bundles on her head to sell them as a walking street vendor. As a successful member of our former Women's Loan Program, Mary received and repaid in full a number of loans that enabled her to purchase more inventory and pay for transport to help her extend her geographic sales area. Recently Mary's past spinal cord injury has been causing her pain and she underwent another surgery. During her time in hospital, thieves broke into her home and stole all of her inventory. With her Warrior For Change grant Mary will restock her inventory and open a small store front in a strategic area to prevent having to walk hours each day carrying heavy loads. She will buy and sell such products as cooking oils, salts, clothes, fabrics, basic food items and more. Mary's youngest son Godrich is assisting her with her new business endeavors. 

Mary Sebastian

Mary lives in a small rented room on the outskirts of Arusha town. Her husband died more than 10 years ago and she was left with two young sons to raise on her own. While working in a quarry carrying huge stone loads on her head, she fell and broke her back. She was bedridden for almost a year and relied on the goodwill of strangers for her small family's survival. When Unite first met Mary in 2014 she was operating her own tiny business buying kankas (African fabrics) and walking many miles each way to and from Arusha with her bundles on her head to sell them as a walking street vendor. As a successful member of our former Women's Loan Program, Mary received and repaid in full a number of loans that enabled her to purchase more inventory and pay for transport to help her extend her geographic sales area. Recently Mary's past spinal cord injury has been causing her pain and she underwent another surgery. During her time in hospital, thieves broke into her home and stole all of her inventory. With her Warrior For Change grant Mary will restock her inventory and open a small store front in a strategic area to prevent having to walk hours each day carrying heavy loads. She will buy and sell such products as cooking oils, salts, clothes, fabrics, basic food items and more. Mary's youngest son Godrich is assisting her with her new business endeavors. 



Past "Warrior Grants" have been awarded to:

Here at Unite, we are always interested in meeting more "Warriors for Change" -- passionate visionaries on the frontlines of innovative change. If you or anyone you know fits this profile, please email anne@uniteafricafoundation.org. Karibu sana! Tuko pamoja!