In 2010 one lovely lady by the name Jenny Belford visited a baby orphanage in Nakuru which was run by her sister Mary. This is where she met Lilian.
Jenny and Lilian shared a desire to reach out to impoverished and disempowered women in society, in particular single mothers and widows. That passion led them to set up an organisation called Heart4Change.
In 2012 Lilian started organising conferences and workshops to reach out to these women with a program which was later dubbed 'Boundaries'. The Boundaries program started at the women's prison in Nakuru and the local church, then spread to Kisii and Mombasa. It has helped more than 3,000 women since its inception.
Lilian and Jenny also started running mentorship and leadership camps for local girls through Heart4Change. They call them ‘Girlie Camps’ and they are focussed on health and education. To date more than 800 girls have attended the camps and
received fantastic hygiene packs to take home afterwards.
While delivering these programs, they also encountered many children who were also suffering from abuse and violence. They decided to try and assist the children by taking them to hospitals, enrolling them in schools and accommodating them in foster homes. However Lilian, Mary and Jenny realised that giving money and items directly to the children was not working - their cash and supplies were not actually reaching the children.
And so Akina Ties (then known as Akina Place) was established in 2014 to provide a safe space for children and women who have suffered various forms of gender based violence. Lilian moved to Kisii and started living with the rescued children.
In 2018, an extremely generous donation from Australian philanthropists Kate and Noel Doyle allowed Lilian to stop having to pay rent and move premises every few months. A brand new customised home was built - and Akina Ties Haven was born.
The Akina Ties family of women and children now have a secure home where they can be fully supported through the complex healing, reconciliation and legal processes they face.
To date Akina Ties Haven has offered shelter and support to more than 50 local women and children affected by violence in their communities. Akina Ties continues to support many of these women and children today.