While a student at the University of Arkansas, Anna Taylor founded James127 Foundation with the
vision to use her creative abilities to eradicate poverty among women in Nairobi, Kenya.
Anna first moved to Kenya with her family in 2007 and spent several years in the Nairobi slums helping widows and orphans. In 2010, a Kenyan leader in the slums introduced Anna to a skilled unemployed seamstress, Judith. With an understanding of the slum culture and with widows - like Judith - in mind, Anna saw beyond the poverty and set out to establish a permanent solution.
Anna graduated from the University of Arkansas with a major in Apparel Studies. Along with
James127 Foundation, Anna founded Judith & James, a high-end fashion line produced for a sophisticated audience dedicated to alleviating poverty and infusing hope in third world communities.
Judith is our local leader in Kenya. She is the international inspiration for the work we do. As a team, she and Anna have worked together since 2011 developing the sewing training program in Kenya.
Judith has three children of her own, but cares for 9 children total as she has adopted children from her siblings who have passed away. As an expert seamstress and incredible business woman, she has managed to take care of all 9 and educate them. School fees have not come easy, however and she has worked very hard over the last 6 years with Judith & Jamesand the James127 Foundation.
After watching her grow and increase in health and wealth, the James127 Foundation decided to make a change from Anna being the local director to Judith. Judith is the inspiration for the women who enter training as a self-sufficient independent business woman. She has grown in knowledge and skill over the last few years and has a tremendous amount of knowledge to pass on to the trainees.
We are honored to know her and thrilled to have her as part of our team as the inspiration and leader.
Mary Smith works as an accountant with Go Near Ministry, a nonprofit organization that advocates for and mobilizes people and resources to empower the extreme poor and vulnerable. God continuously weaves Africa through His story in her life and she couldn’t be more in awe of His hand in everything – the big and the small.Mary grew up in Texas and attended college at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, earning a degree in Accounting and Finance. After college she practiced public accounting in Dallas for four years during which she made her first trip to Kenya with friends from college. Needless to say, it left a lasting impression on her. She then went to law school at the University of Texas and made two follow-up trips to Kenya during her three years in Austin – one to the Mt. Kenya area focused primarily on evangelism and the second to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. After law school she practiced corporate law at a firm in Dallas, Texas for 5 years and made several visits to sub-Sahara Africa with groups of Christian lawyers and others with African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries for Biblical conflict resolution, forgiveness and reconciliation discipleship trips. Currently Mary resides in Little Rock with her husband Scott and her son Eli. After two years of adjusting to being a wife and mother, she decided this summer was the perfect time to jump back in to what God is doing in sub-Sahara Africa as well as here in the U.S.
Jennifer Mooney became a widow at the age of 43 when her 40-year old husband collapsed and died from a massive heart attack in her home. She lives in Little Rock, Arkansas and is the mother of Nate, 17 and Allie, 14. She traveled with her children to Kenya in June 2014, where she saw first hand the challenges widows in Kenya must overcome to survive and provide for their families. As a result, Jennifer immediately welcomed the opportunity to join the James127 Foundation team. Jennifer speaks from personal experience from her own journey as a widow as well as seeing how the training is positively impacting the women in Kenya. She is committed to the future of the James127 Foundation so that others will see God's glory.
WOMEN'S HEALTH SPECIALIST
Kathryn Stephens, a native to Little Rock, Ar, has had a passion to work with the poor and to empower women from a young age. After graduating from Harvard in 2013 where she studied Social Anthropology, she spent a year in Bangalore, India where she worked with vulnerable women in a locally run women's center. She returned to Arkansas in 2009 for medical school and will begin her training as an obstetrician-gynecologist in summer 2019. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, learning new languages, and almost any type of water sport. She is excited to contribute her knowledge of women's health and commitment to serving the least of these to the mission of James127 Foundation.