By Regina Mburu, Unbound communications liaison in Kenya
At 72 years old, Leah is loving life enough to learn two whole new trades.
Leah has been sponsored through the Unbound program in Kenya since 2003. Recently she has taken up basket weaving and making jewelry out of recycled wastepaper.
“This work keeps me so busy that I forget any problems I might be having,” she says. “You know when you are busy, you don’t fall sick.”
It wasn’t always this easy for Leah. She has seven children, three of whom have passed away, and 18 grandchildren.
Leah’s husband died in 1977, leaving her to take care of the seven children.
At that time Leah worked as a hospital cleaner, and her earnings were not enough to provide for her family.
“My neighbors saw my plight, and they introduced me to the Unbound Hope for a Family program,” Leah said.
Once she was sponsored, Leah received nutritional food and other sponsorship benefits such as clothes and bedding.
After she retired from her work as a cleaner, Leah learned the art of basket weaving and making jewelry out of wastepaper.
Sometimes well-wishers will give Leah the wastepaper for free, or else she buys it at a discounted rate.
Today Leah’s new skills help her earn income and complement the financial support from her sponsorship.
“I hope to share my art with the young people so that they can at least make an income, because getting employment in Kenya is difficult,” she said.
(Editor’s note: The unemployment rate in Kenya is estimated to be around 40 percent, according to the CIA World Factbook. Go to this website and scroll down to the country “Kenya”: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2129.html)
Leah also has some good advice for young people.
“Keep yourselves busy and work hard,” she says. “Do not go for high-paying jobs that are hard to find. You can make use of the talent God has given you.”