Empowering women is my ‘why’. With that in mind, I would like to introduce a new segment to Yolonde’s Yarnings, Wonder Women. I’ll be profiling some of the incredible women I am privileged to know and work with, who not only empower me, but those around them.
So, without further ado, please let me introduce the fabulous Cathy Zeiger.
As A Cairns Regional Councillor, Cathy is all about community, both locally and globally. She is also the Founding Director of BOLDLY I GO (B.I.G), an organisation aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty in Kenya through child sponsorship, income-generating activities and improving life skills and training.
My daughter Mackenzie and I sponsor a gorgeous girl called Leah. Leah is the eighth of 10 children, and lives in a two-room ‘pottery’ house, which is built of sticks and mud. She lives here with her siblings, grandmother, mother and sometimes father.
Her father has epilepsy and mental illness which causes the family a fair bit of grief.
Leah’s mum is away a bit also due to the stress, leaving the children to do the chores and most of the cooking.
Three years ago, her mother had pulled Leah out of school to work as a casual labourer. It took a bit of time, but Boldly I Go Field Officer, named Betty, talked Leah’s Mum around and Leah is now doing well at primary school.
Boldly I Go organises sponsors for three of Leah’s siblings, with the eldest boy entering university next year – a great source of pride for all involved. Thanks to child sponsorship, Leah now has equal opportunity to decide her own future.
At the moment, however, the children are not in school. The Kenyan government has announced that there will be no more school for this year.
This is not good news for families. The rate of teen pregnancy has risen dramatically, along with drug and alcohol use due to boredom and struggling families not being able to work as usual.
Currently, Boldly I Go is providing emergency food support for all sponsored children, along with personal visits to check how they are coping with the COVID-19 conditions.
I am so honoured to be involved with Cathy in such a valuable project and witness the change we can make in the lives of those less fortunate than us.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SPONSORING A CHILD THROUGH BOLDLY I GO, VISIT THE WEBSITE BOLDLYIGO.COM.AU