The Latest from The Tali Fund

May 23, 2019

The BBC profiles the work of the Talia Agler Girls Shelter—and More!

I know I've just written but this is big news. The work of the Talia Agler Girls Shelter, the Centre for Domestic Training and Development, and their founder and CEO Edith Murogo have just been featured in a documentary produced by the BBC in Africa. Here is the link.

The thirty-minute program, which aired for the first time this week, traces the stories of a few young women who, in their quest to escape poverty, become domestic workers. A number of the scenes were filmed at TAGS (the Protection Arm) and the CDTD, (the Training Arm) in Nairobi.

TAGS is referred to as "The Shelter" throughout the documentary. (Its full name is not used in order to guard the privacy of the girls who remain sought by abusive families and/or traffickers.) You can see Tali's picture in the sitting room at the Shelter, beginning after minute 16:25 and again after minute 17:10.

The program profiles only a few of the much larger number of young women and girls whose lives have been saved, rescued, and given the chance for a better life through Edith's heroic efforts. We remain proud and honored to support this work through the Tali Fund and we trust that you do, too.

Once again, we—and more importantly the girls—thank you for journeying with us.

Edith Murogo in her Office (Tali's pic to the upper left). Centre for Domestic Training and Development, Nairobi, Kenya–April 2019

Edith Murogo in her Office (Tali's pic to the upper left). Centre for Domestic Training and Development, Nairobi, Kenya–April 2019

Thank you for considering making a contribution here. Even better, you can set up a monthly donation here!

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May 9, 2019

Passover in Nairobi—part I


It was an extraordinary trip. First of all, the Shelter has been making incredible progress. Since its start-up in 2012, Edith Murogo, TAGS' founder and CEO, has been strengthening the program, upgrading the facilities, and broadening the base of support. The trajectories are as high as they have ever been. It was just great to see this.

Inasmuch as part of TAGS' mission is to rescue young women and girls who have been refugees, trafficked or otherwise abused, it occurred to me that conducting a model seder during Passover, given the holiday's theme of deliverance from slavery, would be more than fitting. Most of us can only imagine what escaping from bondage might be like. These girls have lived through it, literally. So we planned a celebration!

We were assisted, generously and graciously, by the local Jewish community in Nairobi. Participants included members of the Nairobi Hebrew Congregation (special thanks to Karen, Noga, and Ayelet!) and the award winning, Israeli-Kenyan singer Gilad Millo.

It turned out to be unlike any seder I have ever attended—and I daresay, unlike any you have ever attended, either. These pictures will only give a taste and we promise to post some phenomenal video soon. But for now, let's walk through it.

Of course we performed traditional rituals and sampled traditional foods.

Candles, wine,  matzah —ready to go.

Candles, wine, matzah—ready to go.

The power of the simple hand washing ritual, which everyone got to experience personally, was extraordinary. It is meant to remind us that there is a higher, more spiritual level of cleanliness than simply being "dirt-free." For the Shelter's residents, it was a vital affirmation of their value as human beings—a message that has frequently been at variance with their life-experiences.

The power of the simple hand washing ritual, which everyone got to experience personally, was extraordinary. It is meant to remind us that there is a higher, more spiritual level of cleanliness than simply being "dirt-free." For the Shelter's residents, it was a vital affirmation of their value as human beings—a message that has frequently been at variance with their life-experiences.

Bitter herbs, Kenyan-style. We bought some of these at a local supermarket. Looks like a sea cucumber. Tastes more like romaine lettuce than horseradish. (For which many were grateful. ;-)

Bitter herbs, Kenyan-style. We bought some of these at a local supermarket. Looks like a sea cucumber. Tastes more like romaine lettuce than horseradish. (For which many were grateful. ;-)

My parents bought this  Afikomen  holder from an Ethiopian vendor in Israel a few decades ago. On one side, it portrays a Jewish village in Africa. On this side, a representation of the planes that airlifted the community to Israel in the 1980's and 1990's. The teaching that this was, and remains, the only time in recorded history that whites have transported a population of blacks out of Africa, not to be enslaved, but to be free, was, as you might imagine, impactful for this audience.

My parents bought this Afikomen holder from an Ethiopian vendor in Israel a few decades ago. On one side, it portrays a Jewish village in Africa. On this side, a representation of the planes that airlifted the community to Israel in the 1980's and 1990's. The teaching that this was, and remains, the only time in recorded history that whites have transported a population of blacks out of Africa, not to be enslaved, but to be free, was, as you might imagine, impactful for this audience.

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Next, in our own way, we tried to reenact the famous Passover teaching that each of us is commanded to see ourselves as if we personally came out of Egypt. So everyone had to "break through" from slavery to freedom, crash past the "guards," and out of the doorway.

Breakthrough3.JPG
Breakthrough1.JPG


Having "escaped," everyone joined in an African song of celebration. The plan was to follow it with a Jewish-style hora. But we never got there. Reminiscent of Miriam at the shore of the sea (Exodus 15:20), one group after another broke into song and dance—and there was no stopping it.

These women are from a nearby nation and were intercepted by the Kenyan government while  traffickers were in the process of sending them to Saudi Arabia  last month .  They would have been powerless there, with their travel documents confiscated by the traffickers. We can only imagine what their fate would have been. They are now awaiting repatriation and  at the request of the government, TAGS is serving as their temporary safe house.  In light of all this, their spirit was even more amazing.

These women are from a nearby nation and were intercepted by the Kenyan government while traffickers were in the process of sending them to Saudi Arabia last month. They would have been powerless there, with their travel documents confiscated by the traffickers. We can only imagine what their fate would have been. They are now awaiting repatriation and at the request of the government, TAGS is serving as their temporary safe house. In light of all this, their spirit was even more amazing.

Once again, it was a Passover celebration to remember. We are in the process of clearing additional photos and video for distribution. For the safety of the girls, many of their faces cannot be shown. Thank you for understanding—but more is on the way!


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One of TAGS' signature accomplishments is that most of the girls are now qualified to receive formal schooling off-campus. This is, of course, life-changing. As a result, school fees have become a pressing need. Public education in Kenya is often of poor quality, with as many as 50-60 students in a single classroom. For the chance of a decent education, and the opportunity for the decent life it affords, the private route is the way to go.

Fortunately, private school in Kenya is relatively affordable, especially by Western standards. The cost for one term of secondary school: tuition, room, board, everything, is approximately $230 USD per term. (There are three terms in the school year.) Local primary school costs about $100 USD per term. When the needs of the nearly fifty girls in residence are taken into account, it is a significant sum.

We are grateful that the Tali Fund is not alone in providing for the educational and other needs of the girls at the Shelter. Institutional donors currently supporting TAGS and its parent organization, the Centre for Domestic Training and Development, are the Novo Foundation (Warren Buffett's--currently $50k/year for 3 years), the Global Fund for Women ($25k/yr for 2 years), The One World Children's Foundation ($25k this year), and Chemonics, Inc. (where Tali worked, $5k this year).

Local supporters include the Lotus Seva Healing Group ($10k in school fees during the past year) and the Rotary Club of Nairobi—Muthaiga-North district. (Rotoract, the youth arm of this Rotary Club, has already raised funds for a new water tank at TAGS. It is going to be installed this week.) All of this is a tribute to Edith and her staff and the track record they have established.

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Needless to say, ANY contribution makes a meaningful difference. We invite you to click here to donate online. It is our collective blessing to be able to help fulfill the Tali Fund's mission of

Saving the World, One Life at a Time

Thank you again for journeying with us. We’ll be back soon with "Part II."

All photos in this post by Noga Lewenstein. Thank you!

All photos in this post by Noga Lewenstein. Thank you!


march 13, 2019

The centrality of education in Kenya

This NYT article, which describes the horrific aftermath of the Ethiopian Airlines 737-Max 8 crash, highlights, among other things, the importance of education for those who are striving to break out of poverty, and worse, in Kenya. It reinforces, for us, the importance of the work we are doing with the Talia Agler Girls Shelter, where 46 of the current 53 students are now studying at boarding schools.

 

March 7, 2019

Tags and cdtd in kenya’s leading Newspaper

The Talia Agler Girls Shelter, its parent organization the Centre for Domestic Training and Development, and their founder, Edith Murogo, were prominently featured in Kenya’s leading newspaper, the Daily Nation, in advance of International Women’s Day, March 8. You can read the story here.

We remain honored to do this work and, along with the girls, are more than grateful for your continuing support.

february 2019

Conscious Threads, LLC travels to TAGS

We're excited to share with you the attached report from the Talia Agler Girls Shelter detailing the program conducted there in December by Carmen Webber of New York. Carmen is the Founder of Conscious Threads, LLC and she came to TAGS through our cousins, Alan and Ilise Harris of Dobbs Ferry, NY. Carmen volunteered to travel to Kenya and led three weeks of sessions on Women's Empowerment for the girls at the Shelter.

It was an extraordinary experience for one and all. Considering their histories of trauma, abuse, trafficking, and the like, the individual care and tutoring they received from an engaged and committed professional was priceless.

When you look at the report, ask yourself if you might know anyone out there, with skills and time, who might be willing to offer something similar. If so, by all means, let us know!

Even if you don't, there are other ways to support this extraordinary program. Most of the girls at TAGS are now eligible to attend boarding school. Unlike in the West, boarding school in Kenya is a mainstream, and relatively affordable, path to education. Tuition for a three-month term (and there are three terms each year) averages about $100 USD per student. Just think, for $100, you can pay for a student's education for a full trimester! As we have been saying all along, well-stewarded US dollars can go very far in Africa. Any gift you make will have an outsized impact. Thank you so much for your consideration and support. You can click here to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Tali Fund. Thank you!

january 10, 2019

Chemonics International COntributes to the Tali Fund

From Susanna Mudge—President and CEO

Talia and her commitment to the CDTD and international  development were so admired and appreciated. I remember Talia and the tragic incident as if it was yesterday, as I imagine you do as well, but was encouraged to read of the progress that is being made to support the Centre and Talia’s Fund.

We would like to make a one-time corporate donation in the amount of $5,000 to both honor Talia’s legacy and support the critically important work of CDTD.  Their work, and Talia’s memory, are critical to helping make the world a better place for all, something that is important in today’s world. Thank you for all you are doing, and I look forward to hearing about the progress of the shelter, the Centre and the Fund in the future.

Please let me know if there are any special instructions regarding the donation, otherwise we will send it to Talia’s Fund.

 I hope 2019 is a good year for you and your family. All my best, Susi.

Chemonics International, 1717 H St. NW, Washington, DC 20006

November 27, 2018

MATCH your gift on Giving Tuesday!

Some more great news from the One World Children's Fund! They are offering up to $10,000 in matching gifts to the Talia Agler Girls Shelter, through its parent organization, the Centre for Domestic Training and Development, on "Giving Tuesday,' 11/27/18, beginning at 11 a.m. Link here and details below.

October 10, 2018

Major Contribution announced to the Talia Agler Girls Shelter

We are thrilled to announce that the One World Children's Fund of Los Angeles, CA, has made a gift of $25,000 to the Talia Agler Girls Shelter in Nairobi. Yes, this is awesome!

TAGS' parent organization, The Centre for Domestic Training and Development, was one of OWCF's first forty partners from around the globe. This new, unrestricted grant shows how much they value and endorse the work of the Shelter.

It is an amazing gift, but (you knew there was a but coming) it is a one-time contribution. While it will help to put TAGS on a firmer financial footing and enable Edith to strengthen the program in a myriad of ways, an essential part of the Shelter's life support still comes from individual donors.

Accordingly, the Tali Fund is launching a campaign, from now until the end of 2018, to MATCH the $25,000 from OWCF with contributions of our own. Can we all make that happen? I have faith!

We are asking everyone who is connected to the Tali Fund (if you are reading this, that includes you ;-) to make a contribution in any multiple of $25, in honor of the $25,000 from OWCF. Simple as that!

Anything you can give, whether it is $2.50, $25, $50, $100, $250, $2500, or really, any amount whatsoever, will be deeply appreciated. More important, it will be effective, in sustaining the Shelter and continuing its work of Rescuing, Rehabilitating and Reintegrating trafficked and abused girls.

Simply click here to make a contribution online or for information as to how to do it by check. Thank you so very much! We remain blessed to be able to continue this work in Tali's name. Thank you!

The Passing of Martha Lefebvre

We have some other news that is not as happy. Martha Lefebvre, the woman who received Talia’s donated heart, passed away on September 30. She had been hospitalized for several weeks and ultimately succumbed to pneumonia. Unfortunately, due to her medical condition, she herself was unable to become an organ donor. After six-plus years of life that would not otherwise have been, for Martha and her loving family, a chapter closes.

Once again, if you have not already done so, please volunteer to become an organ donor. It is painless, free, and does what precious few of us are able to do: save life when there otherwise would have been death. Go to organdonor.gov in the US and register today.

 

the talia agler girls shelter
Reaching, Rescuing, Rehabilitating,
and Reintegrating Trafficked and Abused Girls since 2012

Art is an expression of the soul. The TAGS Creative Development Project is here to document and advocate for girls who are on a healing Journey from Trafficking and Sexual abuse. The project seeks to empower the lives of our girls with their designs. Check out some of the up-and-coming artists, as well as a showcase of the latest pieces created!

Meet an up-coming Artist

Anita(Not her real name)

Anita has had a passion for bead work since she was 6. Her personality shows in her affinity for colorful pieces. She is not only a brilliant student in school, she is also very creative!

Elsa(Not her real name)

After finding inspiration from her grandmother, Elsa started her bead creations at an early age. sitting around the fire late in the night with her grandmother creating beautiful pieces is a memory that Elsa cherishes. You can support Elsa by Donating or purchasing one of her beautiful pieces.

Hannah and Janet( Not their Real Names)

When you meet Hannah and Janet, you'll definitely feel the love. Janet and Hannah became the best of friends when they met at the Shelter. They study together, play together even eat together. They are now teaching each other to create beautiful pieces. Isn't that what we call good Friendship?

Fresh Works

Necklaces

View More

Bracelets

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