Monday, October 31, 2005

Sucess is...

“Very difficult to define…but I think with time,I can say my measure of success is the appreciation you get and the recognition you get from the people around you for the things you are doing. For me that’s my measure of success” - Achieng’

Success can be determined by the society one lives in. Recognition in terms of awards, are some ways in which one is able to keep track of their progress or lack of. This is highly characteristic of fields where the competition is high.

“If I am trying to develop myself, I should not do it individually and actually that is [where] the idea of working with community came in. I did not want people just to see trees in my homestead. I wanted them to see trees in the locality and a visitor coming would want to ask…how come there are many species of trees…then of course somebody will start telling the story.” – Margaret

A majority of the women interviewed displayed altruism through the nature of their work. Success is not necessarily personal but can be a shared among several individuals.

“Success for me is [pause] engaging in activities, in things that stimulate you and leave you feeling satisfied because you have done things that you’re passionate about… People drive me and I am passionate about people’s success which is part of my success.” – Njeri

When asked to talk about their work, be it farming, architecture, etc., the women displayed an enjoyment in the fields they had chosen to pursue. Love of particular work makes it less like work and more like an activity that builds the person. Growth in this way can be described as success.

“[pause] If you had asked me that question last year, I would have a different answer. For me right now, success is…is that ability to bring something new and good to an other.” – Yvonne

Success evolves. Once certain goals are achieved, others are set in place and this creates a new search for success.

"…Loving my children, educating them and making sure that they all go to school. That is my life. I have raised my children. My joy comes from that.” - Justina

Success can also be achieved through one’s children. For some of the women, their dreams were realized when their children succeeded in something they themselves did not. Education is one of these areas.

How do you define success?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

how to post a comment

Thank you all for the wonderful responses I have received through your emails, I will be posting those shortly on the blog so that others may see them.

Many of you have asked how to post a comment. Please find the steps below:

1. At the bottom of each post you will see this:

"posted by the center @ 8:58 PM 3 comments "

2. Click on the 3 comments part of the sentence

3. A pop up window will appear and the tab will be set under "Leave your comment" Write you comment here.

4. When you have written your comment, select your identity as "Other" or as a blogger if you own a blog site.

5. Fill in your name in the name slot. You do not need to fill in the web page slot.

6. Under "word verification" type in the letters you see above the box ( this reduces spam which can sometimes be posted on the blog...believe me it's annoying)

7. Click "Publish Your Comment"

8. And you are done!!

You can then go back to the blog and and review another post and comment.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ngina and Grete's Story

I talked to two women while in Kenya, Magdalene Ngina and Grete Davey. Both of these women spend their weekends talking to farmers in Lukenya District on the way to Athi River. The inhabitants here are mainly sand harvesters for the many cement factories nearby. The land they live on is void of nutrients due to constant degradation by the factories and poor farming habits. Ngina and Grete, go in regularly to meet and teach the farmers there about sustainable organic farming. Some farmers have taken to it and others still resist and choose to depend on goverment aid for food. As part of the trips to the areas, the two women bring guests who talk on a range of techniques for improving the living standards, first through food production and then through the importance of education.

Ngina and Grete cover the expenses on this project out of pocket.

On this visit, they visited a local Enviroment Club from a school in this district to teach them about tree planting.

Many in this area don't believe that anything other than acacia trees and grass can grow here. Compare the photo of the lady in her shamba :

and the cactus filled scenery:

This lady is one of the many who follow the training offered by Ngina and Grete.

Please see more photos by following

  • Ngina and Grete's Project
  • Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    Start here...

    Last summer I traveled to Kenya to interview women, with the intention of finding out if role modeling has affected their success. What I discovered was more than anything I dreamed of. I met many, many strong women and saw that behind the scenes and for some, publicly, Kenyan women are making changes everyday that create hope and opportunity for many.
    I talked to lawyers, politicians, teachers, farmers, CEO’s, an architect, entrepreneurs, writers, college students, doctors and scientists. It was an amazing experience that has changed my life and from this experience I hope to change the lives of others positively.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart to these women. Thank you.
    My goal is to set up a Women’s Center where women of all ages, classes, races etc can share their experiences and learn from each other. The first center will hopefully be started in Kenya and with the help of other women in other countries; more can be set up based on this model. More on the center later.
    This now brings me to the existence of this blog. It will take some time before the physical center can be created. While talking to the CEO of an IT firm, she asked me for the link to the Women’s Center website. I told her I would get back to her on that one. So this blog is a small step towards the center. Small but significant.
    This blog is fro your interests, whether man or woman, no matter what corner of the world you are from.
    All I ask is that you respect the women who use this site. Please email me on if you would like to be a contributor, or simply if you have any questions or comments. Otherwise, please feel free to post your thoughts.