The Mount Elgon Story
The Story Behind the Girls Empowered Movement in Kenya
History of the Region
Along the border between Uganda and Kenya, northwest of the capital, Nairobi, lies Mt. Elgon, the oldest extinct volcano in East Africa, rising 10,000 feet above the surrounding plains.
Mt. Elgon is home to an extensive system of caves and several rare species of plants, but it’s undeniable beauty belies the reign of terror of repeated conflicts between the four tribes who make Mt. Elgon their home.
A Violent Conflict
Between the years 2006-2008, political conflict arose between the Kenyan government and a tribal militia. Many men and boys were conscripted into their war and thousands of civilians were attacked, killed, raped, tortured and mutilated. The surviving women fled for their lives, taking their remaining children with them.
Many of the men’s bodies were never recovered. The widows and families gained no closure, were granted no rights to property and no reparations to make up for the physical, psychological, and emotional damage they’d suffered. Instead, they faced isolation and stigma, when they most needed kindness, recompense and healing.
For years, the people of Mt. Elgon prayed and cried out to God to come to the mountain and bring them hope.
More than a decade later, the daughters of the widows are now in their teens.
Facing sexual abuse, incest and early marriage to older men who often have other wives and children, these girls have only a life of servitude to look forward to. Those left pregnant and unmarried, are ostracized and cast off from their communities. Shamed and rejected, stripped of value and dignity.
If God were to come to this mountain, someone would have to step in to change the destiny that seemed inevitable. Someone had to shine a light on these invisible faces and make a way for hope.
Voices From the Mountain
From Joan in Mt Elgon, Kenya –
“Everyone on Mt Elgon has heard of the incredible changes happening because of the work of Empower Hope and even the poorest give to support the ministry because they can see the value and impact it has been having within their communities. The movement is gaining recognition from leaders all throughout the country and support is rising. All of our girls are supported through ongoing donations both from Kenya and the US.”
“When an Empower Hope girl is moving through life, she shines in a different way than all the rest. Confidence, Integrity, Passion and Abundance guide her.”
From Pastor Sammy- Mt Elgon, Kenya
“We believe that in empowering a woman, you empower the whole society. Because of the work of Empower Hope, we believe this community (Mt. Elgon) will be stable in 10 years.”