Meet and Greet Valentines’s Eve Dinner

Meet and Greet Valentines’s Eve Dinner

On 13th February 2021 Come Together Widows and Orphans Organization (CTWOO) held a valentine’s eve dinner at pavilion ballroom Safari Park Hotel. The dinner whose theme was EDUCATION TO ORPHANS MATTER saw a total of 218 guests attend surpassing our target of 200 attendees for the event.

The aims for hosting the dinner were:

  1. To ensure access to quality education to our orphans.
  2. To celebrate the achievements that CTWOO has had since the last dinner, 14th February 2020.
  3. To acknowledge and celebrate CTWOO’s partners and their contribution to the achievements of various projects that CTWOO has had.
  4. To provide an interactive networking space for the guests present.

The main aim the event was to ensure the 41 orphans we sponsor in our Education Program get Quality Education thus addressing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4) asthe proceeds from the dinner will be directed to the Education Program. The dinner was also aimed at achieving Gender Equality (SDG 5) as its activities involve both widows and widowers. The event would not have been a success without its sponsors. The main sponsors were;

  1. Certified Homes Limited                                            –           Gold Sponsors
  2. Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA)        –           Bronze Sponsors

The dinner also received support from partners and friends of CTWOO. These partners and friends include;

  1. Ministry of Public Service and Gender Affairs.
  2. Women Enterprise Fund (WEF).
  3. UWEZO Fund.
  4. Global Fund for Widows.
  5. Anti-FGM Board.
  6. UN Women.
  7. Kenya Holding Group.
  8. AFFECTO Foundation
  9. Optiven Limited.

The dinner was graced by renowned Comedian, Mr. Herman Kago aka Prof. Hamo as the master of ceremony and the guest were addressed by various speakers who articulated the  importance of tackling education for orphans and championing the development widows rights within the societies.  

The dinner was graced by renowned Comedian, Mr. Herman Kago aka Prof. Hamo as the master of ceremony and the guest were addressed by various speakers who articulated the  importance of tackling education for orphans and championing the development widows rights within the societies.  


Ms. Phaustine a widow and the chairlady of Mathare-4A Vision Sisters Group explained how the 2007 post-election violence led to her being a widow. She began by explaining how she and her husband were both Political party agents but of different parties in the 2007 election. On the night of election day, she narrated how she received a call from her sister-in-law urging her to go back home and hurry as there was an emergency in Kariobangi since she was still at the polling station. She did not hesitate and went to the place as directed by the sister-in-law.

On arrival she found her sister-in-law crying and she could see other people gathered around her in tears too. It is at this time that the sister-in-law broke the news to her that her husband had been beheaded by some young men due to disagreements caused by political differences. The burial plans began and the corpse of her husband was taken up-country to be buried.

This is when she came to know of her in-law’s real character. She explained that the in-laws rejected her and tried to send her away so that she could not bury her husband as they accused her of organizing the beheading of her husband. Phaustine explained to the audience that in order to prove she did not kill her late husband she was told to sleep with the corpse. She refused to adhere to their cultural demands and as a result, she was sent away from their rural home together with their kids that were named from her family’s side while those named from her husband’s side were left behind.

At this point she made up her mind to come back to Nairobi a journey she explained was characterized by lot of hardships since she did not have enough transport and together with her kids they stayed by the roadside tunnels for a couple of days until a Good Samaritan offered to pay transport for them to Nairobi. On arrival to Nairobi, she was hosted by a friend for while until she could afford to pay her own rent.

She narrated how she could wash clothes for people to make ends meet. It is during this time, in the middle of her hustle, that she met Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC who was also a widow and quite young that by then she (Phaustine) did not believe she was a widow. She explained that Ms. Dianah had formed a widows’ group which she joined and later came to grow from a CBO to an NGO.

She explained that through the group they supported each other socially and economically through table banking where they then applied for NGAAF through the help of the then Nairobi Woman Representative, Hon. Rachael Shebesh now the CAS Ministry of Public Service and Gender. She thanked Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC, HSC for partnering with Global Fund for Widows an organization that has empowered widows’ group economically through the Brook Bank Project, a project implemented in Kenya through CTWOO. She concluded by saying they, the widows, have found a more decent name and should no longer be regarded as widows but as Special Single Mothers.


Ms. Rose began by explaining that she is a widow for 15 years now. She narrated how husband died after a short illness where he was being treated of typhoid but the doctor later came to tell her that her husband had been diagnosed with Anemia. At the time of her husband’s death, she was left with 3 kids the first born being in class four.

She said that at the time all she could do was to pray to God to give her strength to be able to break the news to her children. She explained when she broke the sad news to her husband’s family, she was accused of bewitching her husband because of their tribal difference. She was a Kamba married to a Kikuyu.

After the burial Ms. Rose told the audience of how she was disinherited and locked out of her house’s compound. She went back to her parents’ home and was rejected there as well. This, she explained, led her to live under a tree together with her kids and were forced to jump over the fence every time they wanted to access the house since they had been locked out. She explains that at one time as she was listening to the radio, she heard about a lady who owned a children’s home, whom after she contacted invited her to come to Nairobi.

It is then while in Nairobi she met Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC a young widow, who had formed a widows’ group and talked to her on the benefits of forming such a group as well as guided her to forming one. She was able to form Bethel Widows and Orphans Organization (CBO), which she heads. They engage in activities such as tailoring, weaves and wigs making and bead work.


Ms. Yasmin has been widowed for 7 years now. She went ahead to first encourage fellow widows by telling them that the journey of widowhood is not easy but if they have faith they will overcome. She then continued to narrate that her husband was not born into a Muslim home but he converted to Islam and for this reason there emerged some issues after his death like whether to bury him or not.

She explained that her husband had a heart failure that led to his death. She said that she was told if she chose to bury her husband then she would not inherit any of his property and because she loved her husband, she chose to bury him over the property. In the middle of this difficult time her mother who was her advisor and confidant fell sick and passed on leaving her to face and fight the battle alone.

She however, thanked a lady she recognized as Mama Agnes for standing by her and helping her as a mother to overcome the great challenges she was facing because of her status as a widow. During this time, she met Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC who guided her in forming a widow’s group which through it they have received affirmative action funds from government through NGAAF and WEF.

Thishasenabled them put up businesses and become self-reliant. Through this, she explained, she has been able to educate her kids where her first born is now in the university. She concluded by embracing the name Special Single Mothers and agreed for sure they are special.


Sir James introduced himself to the audience as a pastor, musician and a businessman. He then urged the widows to remain strong and to always trust in God’s Grace. He also shared that he understands what being a widow is like because in his family there is a widow, the wife to his late elder brother.

He recognized his team that he had accompanied him to the dinner and ended his address by performing two of his songs.


He introduced himself as a musician. He encouraged the widows by assuring them that they belong to God and he takes care of them. He vehemently condemned the violation of widows’ rights and thanked Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC for championing widows’ rights. He also concluded by performing two of his songs.


The Affecto Foundation that is headed by Mr. Ndung’u Nyoro was represented by Ms. Serah Kahiga.

Ms. Serah Kahiga took to the stage and introduced herself then went ahead to explain what AFFECTO Foundation is. She explained that it is a Non-Governmental Organization founded by Mr. Ndung’u Nyoro aimed at educating the needy kids simply by building a bridge to restore their dignity through giving them education to achieve their goals. She then pledged that to honor the good work of CTWOO as Affecto Foundation they will sponsor one kid’s education from one of the widows. She concluded by thanking Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC and the whole CTWOO team for the good work they are doing.


Ms. Heather, the founder of Global Fund Widows (GFW), the world’s largest NGO working towards empowering widows around the world, did a video that was played during the dinner. She mentioned she was privileged to be invited to join the widows to celebrate the big day of love with them and that she hopes a day will come when she will celebrate the day not just with them but also amongst them.

She said it was a great honor that Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC, and the CTWOO team chose to celebrate widowhood on a great day of love. She added that love is great and people should strive to establish love through legacies that endure forever. In her message, she urged people to continue showing love to widows as their husbands had shown them in life because even in death, they wouldn’t wish for them to be violated by strangers.

They should show love to the family left behind in order to save family legacies for generations to come. She went ahead to explain that she believes that the audience has the power to liberate widows of their violation by ensuring that marriages are registered, children are educated and harmful traditional practices are left in the past.

She encouraged the guests by telling them that great movements for change are never easy but true legacies are built on hard work and vision. She went ahead to explain to the audience that an investment in Kenya’s widows is an investment in Kenya’s youth and in Kenya’s people, economy, and future. She went ahead to congratulate and salute the noble and honorable position

Kenya holds, the most powerful position in the entire world, the coveted chair in the United Nations Security Council, on behalf of 300 000 million widows she represents. For this reason, she humbly requested Kenya’s consideration in putting forth seminal resolutions protecting widows. She added it would be the first and the only UN Resolution on widowhood.

Ms. Heather then concluded by quoting Mahatma Gandhi’s words that “A nation greatest is measured by how it treats its weakest.” She said she believes that by raising the water levels of the lake we will all float higher and she hopes that we will unite to end the human rights violation that widows endure and her hope for the next valentine’s dinner will be to celebrate love, life, and a newfound legacy.  


Mr. Peter Nyaga began by introducing himself to the audience as the Managing Director of Certified Homes Limited. They were the Gold Sponsors of the event. He explained that Certified Homes Limited is a real estate developer, they build mixed-use buildings, commercial and residential houses. He further explained that under Certified Homes Limited there is a program by the name Certified Home Care where they offer Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to take care of the less fortunate, vulnerable, and the poor in the society to support them to become self-reliant.

He said as part of that they had donated KES. 500,000 to support the CTWOO valentine’s eve dinner to see to it that its theme of EDUCATION TO ORPHANS MATTER is achieved. He also pointed a case of a widow who was part of their CSR in Ruai where they gifted Ms. Irene Karanja, a widow and the chairlady of Widows of Excellence Group, a tailoring machine to boost her business as well as support her family as one of her two kids is abled differently. He promised to continue the partnership with CTWOO to ensure widows are able to put food on the table and take their children to school. He then invited the C.E.O Mr. Robert Ndung’u to address the audience.


Mr. Robert Ndung’u introduced himself as the C.E.O of Certified Homes Limited and was delighted to be present at the dinner. He reiterated what Certified Homes Limited does which is construction of affordable housing across the nation. He said that their tag line is affordable luxury which is also their mandate. He said that their work is to convert houses to homes and ensure people live in an enabling environment.

Mr. Robert talked of their current housing project which is the Sukari Heights located at Kahawa Sukari where there are homes with all the required amenities. He stated that a 2-bedroom apartment goes for 3.9million while a 3 bedroom one goes for 5.9million and one would be required to make a deposit of 1.5million. He explained that the apartments are easily accessible and they have made sure that there is proximity to all what a person may need such as a supermarket, pharmacy, banking services, food courts, groceries, barber shop, high speed lifts, backup generator and backup borehole water.

He explained to ensure that all this were available they had dedicated the ground floor for commercials. He gave out their contacts for more inquiry which are 0711128128 or 0726450450. He then recognized his colleagues that had accompanied them. They were, the General Manager Ms. Anita, the Customer Relation Manager Ms. Anita and Ms. Anne Lawrence.

Mr Robert then concluded by sharing a verse from the Bible; James Chapter 1 Verse 27 “What God the father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world”.


The UFAA team was represented by Mr. Kennedy Ouma who after introducing himself explained that UFAA was founded following the enactment of the unclaimed property law, under the Unclaimed Financial Asset Act of 2011. He explained to the audience the reason as to why UFAA exists is to receive, safeguard and re-unite assets with their rightful owners. He also explained to the audience that they can check for unclaimed financial assets that may be held by the authority using their phones on a Safaricom line by simply dialing *361# a service that only charges KES 1.

He then thanked CTWOO for the invite and for partnering with them. Mr. Kennedy then concluded by encouraging people to go claim for their assets. On behalf of UFAA, they gave out UFAA branded merchandise that was distributed amongst all the guests present.

  • Umbrellas   – 200 pieces
  • Bags – 200 pieces
  • Sports Track Jackets   –  80 pieces
  • Half sleeve sweaters   –   15 pieces


The Women Enterprise Fund speech was delivered by Ms. Njoki Kahiga who is the WEF chairperson. After introducing herself, she explained that Women Enterprise Fund is one of the government’s affirmative action funds and is an irresistible brand. She stated that it is mandated to give subsidized loans to women. She pointed out that quiet a number of widows’ groups affiliated to CTWOO have been trained and received the loans.

She further went on to explain to the audience that their mandate is not only giving loans to women but also building capacity to the women it gives money to by connecting them with agencies that can help them brand their products as well as market them. She then recognized the presence of WEF C.E.O Eng. Charles Mwirigi and the rest of the team by asking them to wave to the audience and thanked them for assisting women.

She highlighted that collaborations and partnerships are very important and key because there is no government that is able to take care of all its citizens’ aspirations without collaborations and partnerships and that is why they have partnered with other organizations such as CTWOO to deliver service to those that require service. In conclusion she mentioned about a special product for the widows that is in the process of being prepared and which will be beneficial to all widows in the country.


A short video clip was played that showcased the life experience of Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC and how she overcame violence and her healing process to date where she now champions for human rights, especially widows’ rights.

Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC then began her address by thanking everyone for honoring the invite where she explained that she believes in appreciating people while they are still alive. She thanked CS Prof. Margaret Kobia for holding her hand, believing in her and her hard work together with that of widows.

Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC continued to thank the Country UN Women Director, Ms. Anna Mutavati, together with Dr. Jeniffer Riria for honoring her invite as well as supporting fellow women, PS. Zeinab Hussein – Correctional Services and Hon. Rachael Shebesh who she recognized as her mentor and advisor. She further thanked the Managing Director Certified Homes Limited, Mr. Peter Nyaga for sponsoring 10 orphans who are in secondary school with 1 year’s school fees. Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC continued to thank Women Enterprise Fund, UFAA and Uwezo for their continued partnership.

She explained to the audience that the reason as to why she is champion 001 for widows’ rights is because she also lost her rights. It is then after the sad ordeal that she decided to step up and speak for she believes the reason she was taken to school was for the sake of that woman who never went to school, that widow who has lost her rights because of her status.

Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC was grateful to everyone for the continued support since the growth is evident as she explained by looking back at the previous events. In 2018, the event only saw 20 guests attend, in 2019 there were less than 50 people in attendance but there was great improvement in 2020 where they broke the record and the pavilion ballroom was full to capacity and much still the greatness was well noted in 2021 where the tickets got sold out and registration had to be closed even before the eve of the dinner. Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC pointed out that with much faith she is looking forward to next year where the event will be held in the biggest hall that Safari Park Hotel has.

Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC then went ahead and explained to the audience that she is honored to have impacted widows lives positively through covid-19 response by partnering with partners in the UK, the Kenyan Government and New York to donate food packages to widows.

She thanked the government funds for increasing the loan repayment period, a sign that they understood that many businesses had gown down due to the covid-19 pandemic. Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC then thanked WEF, Uwezo, NGAAF and Youth Development Fund for through their help over 10,000 widows got empowered economically across the country.

She explained that it is notable progress since many widows are able to engage themselves in decent work. Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC recognized the continued partnership CTWOO is having with The Office of the Ombudsman who have taken 50 cases, and FIDA who are as well handling 150 cases as part of the offering pro-bono services to widows. She also thanked CREAW and HAK where all Gender-Based Violence is referred to. Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC then concluded by recognizing people who have volunteered and gone out of their way and line of duty to support widows. She recognized them in the following order.

1. Mr. Samson Waweru Wambui    
2. Mr. David Mbaka
3. Mr. Moses Ngugi Ndung’u
4. Mr. Ndung’u Nyoro
5. Ms. Rose Ndunge
6. Ms. Phaustine Wekesa
7. Ms. Violet Kobia
8. Ms. Faiza
9. Mr. Thomas Wanyama Simiyu
10. Ms. Patricia Orem
11. Mr. David Mwaniki
12. Ms. Anne Lawrence.


Ms. Anna Mutavati began by introducing herself as the Country UN Women Director and she comes from Zimbabwe. She highlighted that the dinner reminds us of the hardships and vulnerability that widows face and their resilient spirit for their rights. She mentioned that in many Africa Countries widows would not have the same inheritance rights as their male counterparts, meaning they may be stripped off their land, property, rights and access to their own children.

She insisted that even where the law is not discriminate it should be made practical. Ms. Anna Mutavati went ahead and told the audience that the marginalization and ill treatment that widows suffer in societies including sexual abuse must be addressed by tackling the norms that are used to justify such discriminatory cultural practices and violence.

She further explained to the audience that many widows do not have the knowledge about their rights therefore leading to many cases not having a good ending. She also added that due to the issue of stigma, family disownment, many tend to give up and give in to the pressure and that is why organizations such as CTWOO are very important in order to provide social capital that widows desperately need.

She added that information and campaigns towards orphans’ rights and widows’ rights need to be rolled out at national and county levels. In her speech Ms. Mutavati also insisted that Law Enforcement Agencies need training on what to do to protect widows and hold their hands especially on matters regarding inheritance. She concluded by assuring the audience as UN Women they will continue providing legal empowerment through NGOs in the country level and in rural areas.

She then congratulated CTWOO for their efforts but also reminded them that there is still a gap between women and the law but encouraged them to keep matching on until every widow is free from economic violence and is treated with dignity and respect.


Dr. Jeniffer began by introducing herself as the C.E.O of ECO Network Africa. She then appreciated everyone by assuring the widows that they are special because they are mentioned in the Bible, she went ahead and quoted James Chapter 1 verse 27.

She emphasized that widows need a strategy that will be consistent and heavy that will take care of them. She then recognized the presence of her deputy strategy supporter Ms. Sarah who she said will assist in coming up with a strategy for widows. She also thanked CS Prof. Margaret Kobia, PhD, MGH for always being considerate because there is nothing which when presented to her fails to take off.

She invited Ms. Dianah to be part of the African Women Network for she wants widows to start speaking for themselves. She concluded by promising to sponsor 5 women who will be running for positions whether at national, county or even society level.


The CS Prof. Margaret Kobia, PhD, MGH took to the stage and introduced herself and appreciated Kenyans for trusting her to hold the office of Public Service and Gender as a Cabinet Secretary.  She explained to the audience that the main reason she had attended the event was to recognize progress and build on what has already been done. She cited that it is very important to leave a legacy and for that reason she has purposed to leave a product for widows and orphans whether she is in power or not.

Prof. Margaret Kobia, PhD, MGH said she has come to realize that it is through economic empowerment that widows will get a voice. She pointed out the following people whom she said will help her deliver the product. Ms. Anna Mutavati, Ms. Jeniffer Riria, Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC and Ms. Njoki Kahiga. The CS then passed her greetings and goodwill message from the president to the audience and recognized him as one who champions for women empowerment. Prof. Margaret Kobia, PhD, MGH recognized the efforts of Dr. Fred Matiang’i whom she said they are working together to review quite a number of laws that are delaying widows from enjoying the benefits of their spouses.

The CS then highlighted what the government is doing to provide solutions to the plight of widows. She said, “The Government of Kenya is working closely with stakeholders to review the existing policies and legal framework to strengthen the existing laws including the Law of Succession Act. The Marriage Act, Matrimonial Property Act, the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act and Kenya is also a signatory of international instruments that proves towards eradicating discrimination against widows”.

The CS also went ahead to cite that the government is very much aware of the cases of Domestic Violence and harmful practices have gone up during covid-19 period. Prof. Margaret Kobia, PhD, MGH explained that since 2016 the government has been in partnership with NGOs such as CTWOO and renewed its commitment towards protection of widows by establishing:  National Widows’ Day.

She requested Ms. Dianah Kamande, HSC to submit products from widows to be celebrated on gains made during this year’s International Women’s Day, where the guest of honor will be H.E. the First Lady, Ms. Margaret Kenyatta. The CS then concluded by promising to deliver the widows’ product, Inua Mjane Fund, within six months or less. She then honored and thanked everyone in attendance for the commitment.


In conclusion, the event was such a success as everything went on well as planned. This was evident from the attendance noted as many of the guests honoured their invites to the dinner.

Much still, majority of the partners showed love and commitment through sponsoring kids’ education and branding the guests present with their merchandise. There was also notable progress on the fight against violation of widows’ rights which are also human rights.

The most notable progress being from the government where CS. Prof. Margaret Kobia, PhD, MGH cited that the government is seeking policy, legislative and practical responses to eliminate the systematic, widespread violation of widows’ human rights that result in their extreme poverty and vulnerability to violence.

On the same night the CS also launched a product for widows by the name Inua Mjane Fund that will kick off in 6 months’ time which she mentioned will be her legacy as it is expected to be a sustainable project for the widows. This will enable widows become economically stable a thing that will enable the achievement of SDG 1; NO POVERTY and SDG 2; ZERO HUNGER.