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Ms Leonida Odongo

Hello Pulsewire members

My name is Leonida Odongo from Kenya .

I would like to share on my experience on empowering rural widows on property and inheritance rights

On 21st August 2008, Ebony Youth and Orphans Support Initiative Kenya in collaboration with Mitei Self Help group through Peter Muya a community based paralegal trainee and a civic educator – trained by Legal Resources Foundation Trust , organized a one day sensitization workshop on Widows Property and Inheritance Rights. The sensitization brought together 87 participants, 3 men (one Reverend of Redeemed Gospel Church and two civic educators) and 84 women, 69 of whom were widows. The facilitation was carried out in Kiswahili and Kamba languages. The training material adopted were from Royal Tropical Institute Centre for Applied Legal Studies (Gender and Democracy Training and Johannesburg 2007), Dignity International’s Global Linking and Learning Programme (June 2008-Nairobi) and Legal Resources Foundation.
Welcome dance ( Kathama Location, Mwala District-Eastern Province of Kenya

The objectives of the workshop were:
• Social mobilization of widows to give widows and women a collective voice
• Increased awareness on linkages between HIV/AIDS , gender and Property and Inheritance among local leaders
• Increased knowledge and improved attitudes among women on their property and inheritance rights
• Improved attitudes and knowledge among community members on widows and orphans property and inheritance rights

We only expected a handful of participants but were shocked when 87 came , 84 were women , in fact one young woman had been widowed 3 days prior to the workshop(so sad).This is our initial step in empowering rural widows and we intend to cover the whole country and empower rural women to navigate power.


Leonida Odongo
Ebony Youth and Orphans Support Initiative Kenya



JMKELLAM's picture

Empowering work


Welcome to Pulse Wire! I like to read stories of empowerment. Widows seem to be an often forgotten group. All of the knowledge you have provided them sounds wonderful. Do you plan to hold this workshop again? Do you have the materials so other groups may replicate the workshop in other places?

If you have the materials and are able to share them, it would be wonderful for you to post a note on the Resource Exchange section of this website ( stating that they are available.

Good luck with all of your work!

In friendship,

Jenna Kellam

sallyreb's picture

Great Work

Hi Leonida,

Working to empower rural widows on property rights is great work. It is exciting to hear that you have a large number of women attend the workshop. As you continue this work it would be wonderful to hear more about the impact you are having in Kenya.

Thank you for sharing about you work with the PulseWire community.


lynnmcmullen's picture

learning more about your work

I feel so ignorant about what the issues are that face widowed women in Kenya. Can you describe the kinds of challenges the women in your workshop are dealing with?
I love your country and have visited a few times. Do you know of Jamii Bora, a program of microfinance based in Nairobi but has offices in numerous cities around the country.

I am pleased to meet you and happy that people like you alive and are assiting other women in getting their legal rights.


Lynn McMullen

Lisa's picture

How powerful!

Your work is quite inspiring! I, too, would like to hear more about the issues widows face in your country especially with the legal system, which seems to be your main focus. Is this the first workshop of this kind that you have been a part of? Is this a new kind of project in Kenya or is this part of a longer history of these projects there?

All my best,


JMKELLAM's picture



Welcome back to Portland! I look forward to reading about your trip.

In friendship,

Jenna Kellam

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