100% of profits support orphan education in Kenya

The Many Mothers of Ajiri Tea

by Kate Holby May 03, 2021

The Many Mothers of Ajiri Tea

Difna, our Ajiri social worker, calls our Ajiri students and asks them if they've done their homework. She asks them if they've eaten, what clothes they need, how they are feeling. She helps them with their math over the phone. She can hear eye rolls over weekly phone calls, and doesn't accept one-word answers. When they push back, she takes two steps forward.

Most of the Ajiri scholars we sponsor through the profits from Ajiri Tea have lost one or both their parents. Difna knows what it is like to have to grow up at a young age, having lost both her parents and is raising her younger brother. She gracefully moves between the role of a supportive older sister and tough-love mother to our 30 scholars.

Difna is the first to tell you that you don't have to be a "mom" to mother and you don't have to be family to act as a family. Our Ajiri scholars have taken to calling themselves part of the "Ajiri Family"--a testament to the love and devotion Regina and Difna show each child.

In the past, students may have hidden bad test scores, skirted around problems, pushed back at Difna's involvement. But Difna is steady. She is determined. She isn't going anywhere. She leads with love. And our students have started to come to her with their problems, concerns, and honesty.

Difna and Regina joke that they have 30 children. Though they say this lightheartedly, their phones are always on, they always pick up, they end the day thinking about our 30 scholars, and they start each morning working toward these students' education, safety, and happiness. In Covid, they've been working from a distance. But like a mother, they are never far away.

We are raising our teacups to everyone who raises children this Mother's Day.

Lots of love, tea, and hope,

Sara, Ann, Regina, Difna, and Kate

 

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Kate Holby
Kate Holby

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