The harsh conditions in the Kibera slum make everyday life extremely challenging. Starting and maintaining a business is even more difficult. Fortunately, with your help, Project Biashara provides the women of Kibera an opportunity to expand their business skills and provide for their families. These talented and bright women are learning more and contributing to the community in ways that used to be mere dreams.

Mary Wayua (46) is one of the many women who owns a business through the support of Project Biashara. She is a mother a four (Isaac, Judy, Elizabeth, Sarah) and a grandmother of three (Anton, Peace, Joshua) and is a familiar face to all teams that visit New Hope Primary School. In spite of having limited education and persistent health issues, she picked up English very quickly and embraces every opportunity to continue learning. In fact, she actually served as a translator when I was interviewing some of the women involved with the project.

For her Biashara (business) she makes beaded jewelry, and sells bags, groceries, and vegetables. Even though her business operates within the slum, she dreams of expansion. Mary hopes to expand her project abroad, allowing her to reach new customers and expand her business internationally.

Project Biashara provided the funds to cover some of the upfront costs in starting Mary’s business, and also continues to assist her in the purchase of food and needed medication. The assistance allows her to maintain her strength to run her business and provide for her family despite constant illness.

As she’s received assistance with her business and health, she also gives back. Mary believes that Project Biashara is God’s gift, and therefore willingly shares what she’s received with others. She tithes and gives offerings to her local church and also gives to those that have less and are in need. Even in her difficult circumstances, she maintains that her identity is firmly rooted in Christ, and nothing else. Every team that has the opportunity to meet and interact with Mary does not meet a “charity case,” but meets a woman whose faith is both admirable and beautiful.

Please pray for Mary, as life remains challenging. She hopes to move out of her current neighborhood where religious tensions and conflicts are high. Mary also fights difficult medical conditions that make working and raising a family even more difficult. In this period of tumultuous economic crisis around the world, business struggles. Pray that Mary will see her dream through and spread her business to the international level.

Project Biashara is a blessing to the women of Kibera like Mary, and even more of a blessing to the body of Christ. Through Project Biashara, we help remove the barriers that prevent people from pursuing their dreams. These women are not only getting more opportunity, but are also pouring out in their communities and spreading God’s love to all their neighbors.