Welcome to the East African Women's League Website EAWL TODAY (“A...

EAWL TODAY (“A Member’s View of the East Africa Women’s League”)

A Commitment to Help

The East Africa Women’s League was inaugurated in 1917 and is now celebrating over 90 years of voluntary service to the whole community.

Once the first aim of securing the women of East Africa the right to vote was accomplished in 1919, the founder women of the league concentrated on their other aims of improving the lives, physical, moral and mental, of all women and children in the country whatever their race or religion. They took for their motto “Build for Kenya” and their work is as needed and worthwhile today as it was 90 years ago.

Through the work of the EAWL, hospitals, children’s homes and hospices have been built and maintained. Schools for the disabled, the blind and the deaf have been funded and run successfully, giving many of the less fortunate members of our society an education and skill to help support themselves. Prisons have been visited and the welfare of the prisoners, particularly women prisoners, assessed and changes have been fought for where necessary.

As an example, in 2006 over 4 million shillings was raised by the league members and used around the country in over 100 projects to purchase supplies for hospitals, hospices, children’s groups, schools and schools for the deaf, the blind and the disabled were helped by the East Africa Women’s League members and their supporters. Various other charitable organizations around the country also received support.

As you can see, it is not only the larger organizations that receive help from the EAWL. Fund raising by one branch involved a book sale and coffee morning to raise money to buy a donkey and new harness for the local orphanage. The donkey was the only way they have of transporting goods and collecting firewood.

Long before the huge aid organizations had thought of Third World countries and their needs, the women of the EAWL were providing food, blankets, clothes and books for the needy, immunization schemes for children and helping other women’s self help groups with their clean water projects.

Although it is a Women’s League, the men folk of the members are often involved in the projects it undertakes and their expertise and advice is freely and amicably given.

Each year at the end of September, the Arts & Crafts Exhibition is held at Weal House, the league headquarters in Nairobi. The standard of entries is very high and women from Branches all over Kenya send in their work to be judged alongside their sisters. There are classes in cookery – baking, preserves and confectionary; and handicrafts – sewing, knitting, crochet, patchwork and embroidery. Arts, hobbies and crafts like scrapbooking and photography are not forgotten and if you have that masterpiece that doesn’t fit into any of these categories, there is even a class for that.

Every Friday there is an informal get together and market held at HQ where members enjoy a cup of coffee and a chat and at the same time financially support the League. There is no better place in Nairobi to buy cakes, jams and fresh farm vegetables, flowers and dairy produce.

Although originally founded by European women, it was always intended that the membership of the League should be as multi-racial as its aims. Today the twenty-four branches of the East Africa Women’s League countrywide are made up of women of all races brought together by their commitment to help one another and the community as a whole.

The Description of the
Armorial Ensigns
 granted to the
East Africa Women’s League
by the College of Arms
in 1974