This is a reflection from Kenana Knitters on the life of Mary Akai, a wonderful person, committed mother and amazing knitter. Through One Colour and our sister business, Kenana Down Under, we are proud to be part of the chain that recognises and supports women like Mary.
Words from Kenana Knitters:
Mary joined the group 5 years ago when a neighbour of hers bought her to our attention.
Mary was HIV positive and on deaths door. Anthony was a new born at the time and his cries alerted the neighbours that there was a serious problem. Mary was unable to produce any more breast milk and both her and Anthony were starving.
Kenana Knitters arranged for Mary to get to a hospital and onto a life saving drip. Anthony was taken in by one of our other ladies, Jane Mburu, and we sourced fresh goats milk for him each day. Three other children under the age of 10 were also housed by neighbours.
Mary recovered and came to work full time at Kenana Knitters, she was the most remarkable woman, she spent endless hours training the new ladies who joined the group and her work was always beautiful, each piece reflected the love and care she showed everyday of her life.
During the 5 years Mary was with us she was able to buy a piece of land and build a house securing a bright and more solid future for her children.
2 years ago Anthony was given the all clear, the switch from breast milk to goats milk at such an early age ensured he was HIV negative!
Mary became an integral part of the Kenana team and her bright and easy smile in the face of all the pain she had been through was always a reminder to the rest of us that there is good in everyday, one just needs to look past the hardships to see it.
Last month Mary lost her battle with HIV and passed away.
Her seat in the workshop remains empty to this day..................
In honour of her memory our cover page is a tribute to her, a truly wonderful human being.