Clean Start Solutions has worked with over 4000 women impacted by Kenya’s criminal justice system to restore their dignity and successfully reintegrate them back into society. Programs include safe, healing spaces for psycho-social support, life-skills and entrepreneurship training, access to economic opportunities, and holistic responsive care to children living in prison with their mothers.
Why Their Work Matters: 90% of imprisoned women in Kenya are single parents and breadwinners, yet justice systems are not adequately gender responsive. Most women are imprisoned due to petty survival crimes, and their low-income status renders them unable to afford their bail and avoid prison. Clean Start Solutions addresses the critical need for economic opportunities and dignity for formerly imprisoned women who face tremendous challenges when transitioning back into society.
- In 2021, 30 formerly imprisoned women were provided seed capital for their business. As a result, 100 business were created and their household income levels improved by 40%.
- Through their trauma-healing program, Ufunuo, Clean Start Solutions has supported 300 incarcerated women and 200 formerly incarcerated women. Many of them have seen successful outcomes which include reconciliation with family, probational release for good behavior, and permanent release after gaining the skills to communicate their cases.
- 200 children accompanying their mothers to prison received Kiddie Packs which contained toys, clothes, shoes,diapers, soap, baby soap, tissues, etc. The Kiddie Packs reached 15 prisons.
To combat the systemic incarceration of Kenyan women, Clean Start Solutions serves all people affected by the criminal justice system. Interventions target imprisoned women, formerly imprisoned women, children of imprisoned mothers, girls in the juvenile justice system, their families, and prison wardens
Clean Start is developing a center that will shelter women to provide them with safe housing, trauma-healing spaces, business hubs and a community center.
Teresa Njoroge served a wrongful prison sentence between 2009 - 2011 at the Langata Women Maximum Security prison, accompanied by her then 3-month-old daughter, after handling a fraudulent transaction unknowingly while working as a Banker. Her first-hand experience of prison, the desperate plight of the women and girls she met behind bars, and the revolving door of crime and poverty she witnessed inspired her to devote her life to the equipping, empowering, and preparing imprisoned women for the precarious journey of successful reintegration back into society.
She currently serves as the Founder and CEO of Clean Start Solutions Kenya, the first and only Social Enterprise founded and run by a formerly imprisoned woman. An ardent advocate against social injustices in Kenya and Africa, she focuses on how imprisonment disproportionately affects individuals and families living in poverty, collaboratively reforming the Justice system. She is a woman of faith, and serves in this calling diligently.
Teresa was recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in the C-Suite Impacting business 2022 by the East Africa Business Monthly Edition. She was awarded the National Diversity and Inclusion -Individuals promoting Human Rights 2022 Award. Teresa received the Head of State Commendation Gender 2022 Trailblazer Award. She was also named the 2022 Top 50 Africa Women in Development by Donors for Africa in 2022. She was the winner of Strong Leadership DEAR Awards by UK Kenya Tech Hub, UKAID and Kayana. She was a Finalist of 2022 AWIEF Empowerment Award.
Her vision is to have an inclusive and more just world!
She is a 2022 African Visionary Fellow by the Segal Family Foundation. An Inaugural Ford Foundation Global Fellow 2020, a Vital Voices Lead Global Fellow, TED Women 2017 Speaker, and the recipient of the African Female Leader 2018 Excellence Award by The Global Thinkers Forum, UK. She received the Bold for Impact Award from Jacob’s Well Foundation. She is an Acumen East Africa Fellow and 2015 Spark* Kenya Change-Maker of the Year. Spark* is an International Accelerator Program –Australia. She received the Timeless Woman of Wonder Award Presented by Her Excellency Director- UN, Ambassador Sahle Zewde.