This last week I was out of town visiting family in Alaska. When I came back to Portland, there in my mailbox was a letter from Kenya. My dear Rafiki, Dorcus Simion, wrote me a lovely letter introducing herself as a 45-year-old mother of three from Mombasa. What a great feeling to connect with this woman from Kenya who is learning to write and learning to empower herself. And receiving hand written letters is such a joy.

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Am so so so happy for you Jade. This is a week for Rafiki. we haveaited anxiously and our letters are now coming in. Look at janice's letter from Damaris It blessed my heart too. And Slomatire, Elsie anette leslie got theirs too. It is empowering th e women in Kenya today met for rafiki Club and the numbers are growing. I have never seen such numbers of women coming to class. I am sure this program will be a big way to make women in rural Kenya participate in all discourses. Thanks you for making it possible by beinga rafiki

I keep pulling my letter out of the envelope and reading it over again, just so that I can connect once more to Damaris. She has made my day.


seems that you really have an interest in my country. We should share more about our respective work. I have not received a handwritten letter, maybe just a note from my husband...but it was a while back. hehe!!

Im definitely adding you up to my community.

Regards, Stella Ndugire Mbugua


Hey Jade,

Doesn't it give an incredibe feeling to recieve hand written letter when nowadays people hesitate sending an email?

I anticipate a day to come when women from around the world would get connected (either by letters or emails) beyond the borders.

I am really happy for you. You recieved the letter and I could feel the warmth of that happiness in my heart.

Peace Prabi

Dear friend in the Rafiki Programm

I’m Elizabete, I'm also participating in this great initiative, and at the moment I’m giving Lin a hand with the logistics involved. So I hope you don’t mind receiving this message from me.

A lot of the Rafikis haven’t received a reply to their letter yet, and I’m sure they are eagerly awaiting news from their Rafikis abroad, this can be due to a number of reasons:

  • Their letters never reached you
  • Your answer never reached them
  • You can’t find the time to reply

I’m myself am still waiting for my Rafiki’s letter, after I replied to her letter, so to be on the safe side, after a month without any reply, I sent another letter. This way if the first letter never arrived, I’m trying again. I would suggest that: - If you are in the same situation, i.e., never received a reply, send another letter or card, and check with Lin so she can check with people on the ground if your letter was received. - If you have been paired with a Rafiki, and still haven’t received a letter, check with Lin, so she can check with people on the ground when the letter was sent.

Please CC me, so I can keep an updated list of who has/hasn’t received letters form their Rafiki.

  • If you haven’t found time yet to reply, that’s ok, we all lead extremely busy lives, trying to balance, in most cases, being a mum, having a job, running a house, etc. It’s not easy. When you're really short of time, maybe you could choose to send a card, with a small message saying you'll write a longer letter, as soon as you have more time, for instance.

Also if you have more than one Rafiki, and are finding it difficult to keep “up to date”, so to speak, why not pass one of your Rafikis to a friend, or a family member.

And this brings me to the other thing I wanted to talk to you about, we all have friends, relatives, acquaintances, that I’m sure would love to be involved in this wonderful initiative, so why not talk to them, and get them involved!!! The number of Rafikis in Africa is growing by the day, and we need more women interested abroad.

I want to thank you all, in Lin’s name, for your dedication to this worthy cause. Together we can be strong, and make a difference.

Asante Sana


Hi Liz,

Thank you for checking in about this. I now have three Rafikis and have received my second letters from the women in Lunga Lunga (Dorcus and Judith) and one letter from a woman in another Rafiki Club (the name escapes me, will have to check the envelope when I get home). I admit that the letters sat in my apartment unanswered for a week or so. I would start writing them, and then get distracted and start over. This process happened several times. But I did finally complete all three letters and mailed them off two weeks ago. So hopefully they will receive them soon. Perhaps I will send some cards tomorrow in the case that these don't make it (I hope they will)! About three weeks ago I sent a package with colored pencils, a pencil sharpener, markers and pens to the Rafiki Club in Lunga Lunga, which I hope made it safely and can be distributed amongst the women in the club there. Please let me know when my letters arrive and if they don't in the next few weeks, I will send new ones.

Thank you!

Warm regards, Jade