Adversity to empowerment for women in Kenya

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“While Women Weep” documentary screenings planned for May

by Christin Davis –

With one eye on the lens, Nikole Lim spent September 2009 traveling through Kenya. Sponsored by the Western Territory’s Golden State Division, the resulting documentary, “While Women Weep,” displays the life stories of three women and their continued work influencing the lives of widows and orphans as part of The Salvation Army.

The documentary will premiere as part of the Golden State World Services Conferences on:

May 1 – San Jose Temple, Calif., corps, 6 p.m.May 2 – Turlock, Calif., corps, 6 p.m.May 15 – Ridgecrest, Calif., corps, 6 p.m.

“‘While Women Weep’ is not just a documentary, it’s an experience,” said Lt. Col. Shawn Posillico, divisional director of women’s ministries in the Golden State Division. “The emotions inside me are overwhelming as I watch this incredible journey from abandonment to belonging, from tragedy to purpose. To hear these women say that it would be ‘better to die’ or ‘my mother threw me away,’ broke my heart. They experienced such tragedy yet choose to struggle on to become an accountant or a caregiver. The forgiveness and love they bring to others is an incredible testimony of grace and healing.”

In Kenya, The Salvation Army cares for countless women—providing education, vocational training and spiritual guidance. These women have formed a tight-knit community that is active in encouraging, influencing and motivating other women.

The women
Lim’s film follows three Kenyan women, who triumphed adversity and found empowerment.

“In person, I saw, felt and understood the stories of these women,” Lim said. “Each one’s strength, personality, character and experiences are strong and dynamic. I was encouraged to see them working in their ministries and to feel the pain and triumph of their lives.”

Major Genes Miluni ministers to 66 orphans at the Kabete Children’s Home. As the superintendent for the home, she helps hundreds of children who have felt heartbroken, experienced abandonment and suffered loss. Genes went through similar struggles when her husband was murdered in 2003. Traditionally, widows are looked down upon and lose their identity following their husband’s death. However, Genes has become a role model by encouraging, supporting and caring for widows in Kenya. She provides hope to other widows in the community because she can identity with their pain.

A life of extreme poverty led Grace Wangosi to a promiscuous lifestyle. The cycle of hurt, abandonment and neglect beat her down. Three abortions later, Wangosi found a home at Joyland Special School for physically disabled children. Brought out of sexual exploitation, Wangosi now encourages physically disabled children while teaching, caring for and strengthening kids at Joyland.

With no money, food or resources, Peninah Nduku’s mother abandoned Nduku at 3 years old. Nduku’s grandmother had just committed suicide and there was no one to take care of her or her younger brother. Emaciated from malnutrition and with a swollen belly, Nduku was left to die in the swamps. Now an accountant, Peninah’s goal is to serve impoverished women by helping them to establish financial stability.

Support the cause
The documentary and a photo book with the women’s stories will be available for purchase online following the May screenings. Proceeds will help develop a sponsorship program for single mothers and victims of rape who are attending school, a community center in the Kibera slum, and a house where Wangosi can care for the 12 Joyland students she has adopted.

The Golden State Division aims to show the documentary on Public TV in San Francisco, Calif., to further spread awareness and inspiration.

Watch a trailer of the documentary and learn more about this project at

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