Safeguard Orphans Widows Organization (SOWO) is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) registered in 1995 .SOWO is based in Western Kenya.
Limited social and economic development prompted Mama Sarah Obama to initiate her organization (SOWO) to address unmet needs in the community, with its principal focus being the provision of development support, care, as well as to lobby and advocate for Orphans and Widows in Kenya. The organization has made progress since then and is expected to successfully be implementer of major projects on development, health, education, renewable energy and environment, sports and culture, child abuse and disaster response. The organization also enjoys moral support of different government structure regionally and nationally
A society where orphans and widows are sustainably empowered for life
Empowering communities through capacity building and economic support
Our Core Values
Validity, Credibility & Relevance
SOWO GROUP has its genesis at the grassroots of the community. From a small village in Siaya County, Kenya and Kibera slum village in the heart of Nairobi City, an idea was hatched by a small number of men and women to better their lives. Initially, the Siaya Owete Welfare Organization was formed to cater for members’ welfare which included community support for families and benevolence schemes. As the needs of the members grew, so was the need to be more visionary.
SOWO, a community based organization was formed in 1995. This CBO was mandated to better the livelihood of not only the registered members but also the community around it. Poverty was rife, orphans were increasingly becoming a concern and widows were increasing in number due to HIV prevalence. SOWO embraced these vulnerable groups and mobilized the community to help alleviate the wanton suffering. School going children had little or no educational support, widows had poor shelter, some had none at all and food was scarce to many of this group. SOWO provided basic needs for poor families, school uniform for needy orphans and school fees for destitute children.
By the turn of the century SOWO had been registered in Kenya as a Non Governmental Organization under the able patronage of Mama Sarah Obama – a household name in supporting the needy in society. Mama Sarah Obama revolutionized education of the girl child, support of the boy child, empowering of women and a special focus on agriculture.
SOWO adopted a professional structure that included an advisory Board, Chairman’s office, Program Directors and a host of volunteers to run its programs. There was no turning back. The Sowo Half Marathon was born and the inaugural event held at the historic Barrack Obama Primary School in Kogelo – home of the Obama’s. The first Lady of Kenya H.E. Margaret Kenyatta was present as the Chief Guest flanked by several Governors and national leaders. As she flagged off the marathon, there was a ray of hope in the eyes of not only the athletes, but also the more than 1000 school going beneficiaries of the marathon.
SOWO has continued its development activities and the most recent was when over 20 women groups teamed up and pooled together their resources to form SOWO SACCO. This initiative is a milestone in the rural communities. Women can access cheap credit facilities to enhance their businesses and at the same time improve their living standards. Use of renewable energy in homes has become a reality as homes are now lit using solar lanterns. Cooking has been made cleaner and easier by use of biogas technology supplied by SOWO partners in the energy spheres. SOWO provides the most needed capacity building for farmers through visiting professionals, public forums and vernacular Radio and TV stations. Mama Sarah Obama, through SOWO, has recently championed fight against jiggers in Siaya. Jiggers affect learning and development. These moved Mama Sarah Obama to enlist the services of the Kenya Red Cross in rooting out this perennial menace and the results have been encouraging, marking some of SOWOs success stories.
The Orphans Widows & Other OVCs
The number of destitute widows is on the rise. Young parents succumb to HIV and AIDS leaving the elderly to care for their grandchildren. These caregivers are not employed and cannot engage in any meaningful income generating activity. Orphanages are needed to rehabilitate and care for these orphans. SOWO FOUNDATION is championing the course of institutionalizing these orphans who are aptly capable of becoming resourceful citizens.
SOWO has embarked on a global campaign to plant 10million trees to help mitigate the effects of climate change. This is a massive project spearheaded by Mama Sarah Obama, SOWO Patron. SOWO is doing its part and the results are encouraging.