Violet Chanya was born in 1949, in the rural Kisorongonyi Village, the semi- arid area of Taita Taveta County in Kenya. Taita Taveta is plagued by malnutrition and deaths due to AIDS thus the high prevalence of orphans. This has also resulted in many cases of widowed women who work twice as hard to support their children. Unfortunately those who are married still work as hard because many men engage in drinking illicit brews. She schooled to primary level 3 because her father believed girls should not be educated but should rather take care of the goats and assist in home chores and farming.
Despite this, she is a firm believer in empowering young girls through education and widows through farming by donating seeds to them and teaching them nutritional values of growing their food. In 2004, she began Mvono Community Centre (MCC) to take care of orphans and widows. She and other volunteers have been fostering orphans in their homes as they have no orphanage to house them in. By rallying the community and well wishers, She has managed to support children through school and has managed to educate 1 student up to university, 3-Teachers College, 1- Utalii College, 1-Polytechnic, 30- Management Institute and 10- Secondary School .
MCC is interested in partnering with well wishers to finance building of an orphanage which will also serve as a school on a piece of land donated to them by the government. Her faith and visionary leadership has led them to professionally draw up all the architectural blueprints required for the building it as they await financing.
Being in the rural areas does not mean lack of vision for great things. As we celebrate women that are making a difference in rural areas, Violet’s story goes to show that with as little as one has, he/she can make a difference.