From Orphan to Educator - Brenda Adoyo's Story

Brenda took the Know Your Lemons materials to Kenya to educate the impoverished and uneducated. My Brenda’s Breast Cancer Project educated, 200 boys and girls, 40 cancer survivors & patients, and 40 small scale women entrepreneurs.

Brenda educated in Rangwe, a mixed secondary school in Homabay country Rangwe Village. Here she distributed Menstrual cups and had a cancer awareness talk with the aim of creating a health program in the school. In Most of the Kenyan villages it’s still a taboo to talk about the reproductive system , sex or cancer. Most of the young boys and girls are not well informed about health or menstrual management. I'm glad we were able to start a health program to educate the boys and girls within and around the school.


Brenda educated in Masogo town In In Kisumu city. She collaborated with Golden Girls Foundation. This foundation empowers girls and women to be self reliant.

Brenda educated in Jaramogi Oginga Odinga (General hospital) In Kisumu City. Here she worked together with Beyond cancer foundation, a community based organization that gives emotional support to cancer patients and cancer survivors. She offered the members of the organizations knitted prosthesis and a workshop on how to self breast test using the Know Your Lemons posters.

Noteable Moment: During her presentation, she found three women entrepreneurs that had lumps but did not know what they were. After showing the posters, explaining what they should be looking for, they obtained a screening at the local hospital only to ind out the lumps were actually tumors in need of urgent attention. Unfortunately, because they did not have resources to pay for their treatment, we had to let it be which leads me to my next idea: working on project ideas to empower the women to be more financial-able.

What motivates you to teach about breast cancer?

I considered myself lucky. After the death of my parents, my family abandoned my two siblings and I. We ended up in an orphanage (Seeds in His Garden Childrens home In Kenya) and had the opportunity to go to school in the Netherlands. In the process I realized that knowledge and education is freedom.So many people have contributed and continue to contribute to my life here in the Netherlands, so I decided to give back to my community. Not many boys and girls are as lucky as I am.

I begun a foundation to help young girls from my village access sanitary pads so they could go to school. As a young girl growing up in the village, I did not have anything to use. We used all sorts of things we could get, banana leaves, pieces of clothes, pieces of papers, feathers etc. some girls decided to prostitute themselves leading to increase in HIV infections, teenage pregnancy, drop outs, illiteracy etc. I believe that every girls deserve a fair a chance at education and on this basis, Ii started a foundation to support education for young girls and boys.

In the process of teaching menstrual health, I learnt that Breast cancer or cancer in general has become big problem in Kenya. We have a lot of late diagnoses, incorrect diagnosis and some people do not have the opportunity to go to the hospital because they do not have the financial resources to make this happen. I lost my aunt to breast cancer but I did not know she died of breast cancer. It is a taboo and was a taboo to talk about breast, vagina, penis etc. I learned of my aunts passing from breast cancer only last year when I started the breast cancer project. I was shocked.

This realization was a trigger to start a breast cancer project. I realized, with information, the women are better equipped to take care of themselves and have themselves checked on time.

Brendas foundation can be found here:


Know Your Lemons