"Achieving sustainability gives people the freedom to explore their own interpretations in such a way that nurtures ownership and culturally relevant application within their own community." Sarah Kantharia, Executive Director
The “Peace for Development” group was founded to promote and secure peace during election times and currently has over 500 members.
Empowering women from minority communities to face the challenges of community cohesion brought about by so much tribal diversity and dominance.
Subjected to violent displacement, the multiple pastoralist tribes who have lived longest in Isiolo are struggling to sustain themselves in the face of rapid growth and development.
"Our approaches are holistic towards people and life, so in that way it is easy to sustain them even in poor communities like our own" Khadija Omar, Director
Pepo La Tumaini strives to tackle tribal traditions such as female circumcision, polygamy, childhood marriage (to girls as young as nine) and the use of children for sex by active leadership and participation in community campaigns. We work with communities – mainly with the women and children - to provide healthy and safe options.
subjected to violent displacement, the multiple pastoralist tribes who have lived longest in Isiolo are struggling to sustain themselves in the face of rapid growth and development. Pepo La Tumaini prioritises such minority communities by involving them in peacebuilding projects and advocacy campaigns. In communities where much of the adult generation are illiterate, song and dance is used as an empowering form of expression that amplifies a global voice for peace.
An important part of the programme’s outreach work is to empower women from minority communities to face the challenges of community cohesion brought about by so much tribal diversity and dominance. One such example is the Nubian community who represent a minority in Isiolo as they have been unrecognised as Kenyan citizens since independence in 1963 only being accepted in 2011 as a 43rd tribe in Kenya. The “Peace for Development” group was founded in 2005 by Khadijah to promote and secure peace during election times and currently has over 500 members.
By harnessing the power of education and healthcare to empower people to make positive changes in their lives and maximise their potential, Pepo La Tumaini sustains a community that overrides any tribal or religious differences. Here, you are first and foremost part of the Tumaini family - an accepting, inclusive and supportive community.
The Tumaini community are strong and resilient - having undergone upheaval, torture, witnessed death and destruction - they have not just survived but overcome and now channel their energies to help others. They come together to support and sustain each other and their community selflessly. They take in children, they care for their sick neighbours, and share what little they have for the benefit of all. They are the backbone of Pepo La Tumaini making all the hard work possible through their conviction and determination to earn back their dignity and make a positive contribution towards the lives of others.
“Growing up in Tumaini taught me how to be independent and gave me courage. In those days there was a lot of stigma around people living with HIV and even the orphans left behind were often discriminated against. HIV has not gone away and people are still dying every day alone because they have been excluded from their communities.”
James was orphaned as a young boy and, as a child heading a household dropped out of education to support his Grandmother, who was his guardian, and his younger sister. With no formal skills James turned to begging to fund his family’s upkeep; he also resorted to crime when things became really tough.
Whilst on the streets of Isiolo, James heard about Khadija Omar and her Tumaini programme and took the initiative to visit and see if he could get help.
James had a lot of anger issues when he joined the programme, but staff worked with him on an intensive rehabilitation programme. Prior to the founding of Tumaini Senior School, Pepo La Tumaini enrolled James into a local school and supported him and his family through his primary education. We then supported him through his secondary school where he proved himself to be a dedicated and disciplined student. Through further sponsorship he then went on to college to complete a foundation course in Tourism and Hospitality – one of the biggest industries in Kenya.
Upon graduation a member of the Tumaini Steering Committee secured James an apprenticeship at Lewa Conservancy where he excelled and was soon offered a permanent job as a guest host at one of Lewa’s most exclusive lodges. He continues to work hard and is popular with both guests and colleagues.
James is committed to supporting his family and funds his sister’s secondary school fees and grandmothers living costs and medical bills – prioritising these expenses out of every pay packet he receives. He also remains committed to Pepo La Tumaini and returns to his Tumaini family during his holidays to mentor current students and assist with the programme.
An incredibly diligent and likeable young man, James is determined to save to go to university and further his education, before continuing a career in tourism and hospitality.
In 2014 James ran the Lewa Half Marathon – his place sponsored by a guest who was impressed by his story and demeanour. Having only trained a handful of times, James managed to come 78th out of 1000 competitors. He is keen to run the full race in 2015 and will undoubtedly succeed in that too.