Fire within: Kenyan father starts welding business

David works hard each day in his workshop. He's a welder, and in the Kenyan heat, wearing the heavy, protective suit is stifling.

David and family
From left: Caroline, Jane, David and Caleb.

Despite the sweat dripping from his brow, David manages a big grin. He knows that by keeping at his trade, he brings his family closer to breaking out of poverty.

One of David's children, 15-year-old Caleb, is sponsored through Unbound. Though Caleb considers David his father, David is actually his uncle. Caleb's parents passed away when he was young, and David took in his nieces and nephew to raise as his own.

With a large family to take care of, David and his wife, Caroline, had their work cut out for them. Caroline worked at a local market selling fruits and vegetables, while David took the occasional jobs available at welding workshops around town.

Their income was minimal, and providing quality education for all their children was one of the family's biggest hurdles.

Unbound staff in the area saw the family's struggles. They invited the family to join Unbound and shortly after 4-year old Caleb was sponsored.

"It is always a joy to us when a child receives sponsorship," said Anne Musungu, a staff member in Kenya. "All families that we serve are in dire need of a helping hand, and making a difference in even one family gives us great joy."

David from Kenya
David is a member of the Nguono mothers group, which helped him start his welding workshop.

One requirement of sponsorship is the family taking an active part in the program. In some projects this can include being part of a mothers group.

As the name implies, these small groups are typically made up of mothers. A main goal is to empower members to become economically self-sufficient through microlending.

Because Caroline spent so much time at the market, she couldn't attend the group meetings.

So David went instead.

"I am a member of a support mothers group, although I am a man," David said. "My group is called Nguono group, and we have 30 members. It is from this group that I was able to grow and come up with the idea of starting my welding workshop."

David received a loan from the group to buy the equipment needed to start the workshop. Now, he is better able to provide for his family. Through his hard work, David is a positive male role model for his children.

"My life and that of my family has become better thanks to the Unbound sponsorship," David said. "I am grateful for all the support they have accorded me and my family."