I found strength in my biggest tragedy

Pauline Kanini’s husband died a few hours after cuddling their first child. As a widow, she has seen many women like her go through life without hope. The 38-year-old started an organisation to support them

Sandra Wekesa

In a nutshell, who is Pauline Kanini?

Pauline is a pharmacist, who operates her own chemist as well as works at a government hospital. My passion for venturing into pharmacy was inspired by my father who was  an enthusiast of medicine and always pushed me into becoming good at my work and doing the best to help with the knowledge I have.

What motivated you to start God Is Able Foundation?

The loss of my husband. He died on his way from the hospital, a few hours after I delivered our first child. It still remains the saddest day of my life because after several attempts of having a child and many miscarriages, I eventually delivered a baby. My husband managed to cuddle him in his arms for a few hours but died on his way home after he was hit by a car at Roysambu, Nairobi.

It was a heart-breaking time for me. Here I was a new mother and I was being discharged from hospital to go and bury my husband. I would more often get visits from widows encouraging me and trying to make me feel good about the situation. So, I thought to myself, why don’t I just start something that could help these women improve their lives?  At that time, most of them were unemployed while others had smallscale businesses. The organisation has been in existence for quite sometime now. We stareted in 2011.

Why did you settle for the name God Is Able Foundation?

The name came out after I saw some of the good deeds that God had done for me.

The women in your organisation speak highly of you. Do you support all of them on your own?

Yes, these women are my family. There is nothing else I would do other than helping these women with their daily lives. Encouraging them, making them feel they are worthy and important in life is a skill I have mastered.

What can you say motivates you to wake up every morning and assist these women?

The fact that everyone needs a shoulder to lean on and a chance to stand out and become better.

How many women have you helped with your organisation so far?

I have assisted close to 500 women since the organisation was started.

Where do you get funds to support them?

We get the funding from the business es we do, which include making baskets, laundry soap and crocheting mats. Through this, we are able to foot our bills. We also have well-wishers who donate funds to run the foundation.

Could you share with us some of your success stories?

Seeing most of these women able to pay their rent and stand up for their rights is a success I most cherish.Through the merry-go round we started, some are even able to start up their businesses. I am grateful to God for assisting me help women in my community.

How exactly does the organisation assist widows?

Most times, widows’ rights are ignored, therefore, we step in by encouraging them to share their plight as well as helping them find ways of generating income.

Do you have a specific region where you have concentrated?

No. We have branches in Mwiki, Embu and Machakos. We make sure we touch many lives. 

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