Imara International: Breaking the Cycle

Imara International partners with a local church to teach Kenyan women to support themselves.
After meeting these women, Carol Erickson began a ministry for young, single Kenyans.

The word imara means "strong foundation" in Swahili. And that is exactly what Carol Erickson is creating through Imara International, a nonprofit organization partnered with the Messiah United Methodist Church in Plymouth.

Erickson has traveled to Kenya frequently in the last seven years to work with orphaned girls. Through these visits, she recognized a need to educate and train young single mothers so they can become self-sufficient.

Larry Welliver, chairman for the Imara Board of Directors, explained the Kenyan women need to learn to support themselves because oftentimes they become pregnant, are forced out of school and sometimes kicked out of their homes, where they then tend to live in extreme poverty.

“This is an unmet need,” says Welliver. “We’re trying to break the cycle.”