When her husband passed away in 1998, Jane, a citizen of Kitale, Kenya, was left with five children to raise – ranging from eight to 16 years of age – and was soon expecting another. Like so many other single and marginalized mothers in the region, financial pressures began to mount and she found herself struggling to provide the very basics for her large family. Food was scarce in the home and the children were often forced to miss school due to the high cost of education. At a point of absolute desperation, Jane made the heartbreaking decision of selling sexual services to men.
Jane described this period in her life as being very degrading, but she soon found a way out.
Leaning on the financial support, training and accountability of the WORTH project, Jane launched her own ironworks business. Three years after joining the program, Jane’s business is thriving, and her children are all receiving an education, with some going on to attend university. Perhaps the best part of this story is that the tables have completely turned. Jane is now the boss, and to meet demand, recently hired two men to support her growing business. In her journey to empowerment, Jane traveled from being enslaved by men to freely hiring them.