Kama leads Operation Mercy’s Women’s Empowerment Project (WEP), working with women in the poorer communities of Almaty, Kazakhstan, and the surrounding areas. Some women are divorced, some are single mothers, some are coming out of abusive relationships or live in poverty, and all are given community that comforts and empowers them to rise above their circumstances and learn essential life skills.
The WEP group that Kama leads meets once a week and covers different lessons like how to raise a child, spouse relationships, what to do if one’s husband is an alcoholic, boundaries, and self-protection. The women who join the group are typically between 30 and 50 years old and have marital issues, are divorced or are in vulnerable situations.
Overall, WEP groups in Almaty serve around 200 women.
“I think God is using me through my journey and difficulties and deep painful moments now in the women’s empowerment project to help women,” Kama said. “I have a passion to help those who are like me. I can share, I can encourage them and also… heal myself with this group together.”
When women join WEP, they share their experiences with each other, encourage one another and share how they won their battles and fought their challenges. The group allows participants to grow their self-esteem, heal from past experiences, learn to respect themselves and release stress.
The project has helped many women, including Jamila. After encountering many difficulties in her life, like her husband’s poor health and the resulting financial difficulties, Jamila was surrounded by the community of women in WEP. Kama helped Jamila and gave her the support—both emotionally and financially—that she needed to get back on her feet.
“Women’s Empowerment Project grows capacity,” said Kama. “When women come to this group in the beginning, they cry, and they come with depression. A lot of time they are hopeless, but after participating in some lessons, the women start to change their life with each other and they’re encouraging each other.”