MAKLWETA founding was inspired by the personal life experiences of Dr. Erick Komolo, who was born and raised in Homa Bay. Majority of Erick’s immediate relatives still live in the informal rural settlements in the area.

Erick was born the seventh child in a family of 14 siblings, 7 girls and 7 boys. He’s the first in the family and clan to acquire college and postgraduate education having obtained his Law degrees in Kenya, Britain and Hong Kong (China), all of them through scholarships.

However, all of Erick’s elder sisters somehow dropped out of school into early marriages, childhood of pregnancies and subsequent lives of relative misery. One of them later died at the tender age of 32 from apparent HIV/AIDS complications followed soon thereafter by her husband. The young couple left behind 2 vulnerable children having been predeceased by three others. All of Erick’s brothers, however, completed college.

What most troubled Erick is that his sisters' circumstances weren’t isolated. He is aware that his own female classmates in primary school experienced similar predicament. In Erick’s graduating class (1997) of 33 pupils, only one girl successfully completed secondary school. The rest were prematurely married off and several have since passed on from apparent HIV/AIDS-related conditions leaving behind more vulnerable children. It points to systemic weaknesses in education and family intervention exacerbated by poverty.

At MAKLWETA, we therefore strive to partner with the targeted communities and families to keep these beautiful girls in school and use their stories to influence progressive policy reforms. 

See our story in the South China Morning Post and Le Monde