The Compassion Network

The Compassion Network is a cooperative of small local groups. Membership of the co-operative entitles the groups to receive training and support by Compassion CBO. Compassion CBO helps members of the network to write their constitutions and register with the Kenyan Government, which then enables them to receive small loans and grants.
Each member group subscribes to a common ethos of supporting the rights of women in the community and working together to fight poverty.
The network includes groups with a wide range of interests from all different parts of society from people working in the same area, such as flower growers, to groups of HIV+ people, Women's Groups, Cancer Survivor Groups and many more.

Membership of the network is free.

Kamaru Grandmothers

Kamaru Grandmothers

The Kamaru Grandmothers Group was formed in 2013 and now has 22 members, all of whom are over 50 and have HIV. Their activities include savings projects, skills training, and raising awareness about HIV.

Most of the group caught HIV from their daughters, who had become sex workers due to economic hardship and lack of education.

When the girls became ill they went home and were cared for by their mothers. Lack of knowledge at the time meant that no precautions were taken when wounds were tended or children born, leading to the spread of the virus from child to caregiver. These women cared for their children or the orphans of their children on very little income, until they formed a group to help themselves and each other.

Their activities include table banking (individual savings being pooled and loaned to members of the group for a very low fee), Merry-go-rounds (where each week the group members contribute a few shillings which is given to members in turns), awareness raising about HIV, and being trained in different skills for free by Compassion CBO.

(Photo: Training session with Compassion CBO)