The foundation borne out of the founder’s story.
Fridah Wendo Foundation
Fridah Wendo, the Executive Director and founder of Fridah Wendo Foundation was born in Kalama subcounty, Machakos county by a single mother. The duo would then migrate to Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, in one of the slums. The little girl would later join primary school for her early childhood education. Later she joined High school for her secondary education at the age of 14 in Nairobi.
Fridah Wendo became pregnant at the age of 16 while in form two (2). Trouble would then start. She was forced to flee home. She bore the stigma associated with early pregnancy from her own mother and the society. This took a toll on her to the extent that she contemplated ending her own life. The flame of hope for a decent living upon successful schooling flickered, the burden of raising a child weighed heavily on her, the fear of never being in a position to educate her son, leave alone herself became abundantly clear and the reality of thus living a miserable life was within a stone throw.
Fridah however made a decision. With all the obstacles inherent against her and at the brink of giving up, she decided to give herself a gift. A gift of hope, a gift of a future and a gift of a new beginning. This was the turning point. She took her son to her mother. Notably, it was there where she could be accommodated with all her baggage. Back in Nairobi, she started doing menial jobs for two objectives. To fend for her son and to raise money for her fees in high school. She recounts how it was tough being a young mother with such huge responsibilities. One of the small businesses she did included buying fresh produce from Gikomba market (Nairobi’s largest grocery’s market) and selling them in the slums.
Life had thrown lemon on her and as they say, she decided to make a lemonade out of it. Two things happened. She would finish her studies and in the process learn entrepreneurial skills. In the slums, she encountered similar stories among young girls, some younger than her. She developed a passion for helping out such girls by telling her story and giving hope to them. This extended to the boy child as well. Drug abuse at a very young age and criminal activities were the order of the day.
Fridah would later finish her studies, even post-secondary, grow her small business and take back her son with her. Finally, there was a glimmer of hope. She took her passion to a different level as evidenced in her zeal for social-economic rights among the youth. This culminated in her joining politics. She ran for the Member of County Assembly seat in Machakos so as to advance her agenda for the youth. She lost but didn’t give up. She went ahead to establish the Fridah Wendo foundation. Fridah, is now actively involved in pro-youth policy advocacy.
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