Ms. Rebecca Lolosoli, a Vital Voices Global Partnership alumna and recipient of the Vital Voices 2010 Global Leadership Award, met with AF representatives on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 in the State Department.
Ms. Lolosoli’s empathy for widows and children compelled her to speak out on behalf of victims of rape, forced marriage, female genital cutting, and homelessness. In the 1990s her own homelessness caused her to form, along with 15 other women, the Umoja Uaso Women’s Organization in the Samburu District of Kenya. For women who refused to tolerate the cattle raids, GBSV, lack of property rights, and more recently the impact of small arms, Umoja Uaso has become a refuge. The Umoja Uaso has become both a sanctuary and a training center for those seeking to promote human rights, economic empowerment and for the preservation of indigenous art and crafts.
Ms. Lolosoli’s efforts to empower the women of Umoja have resulted in their ability to provide for their children and themselves through the sale of their beaded jewelry and crafts.