21 Nov Hellen’s Story: Empowerment & Gratitude Through Income Training
After the death of her husband, the family breadwinner, Hellen didn’t have enough money to cover her family’s most basic expenses, including food and school fees. When the Unstoppable Foundation partnered with her community, Hellen seized the opportunity to join a women’s group and attend income trainings in hopes that she could learn to generate an income to support her family.
A single mother of six, Hellen lives in the Unstoppable community of Olmusereji, Kenya. Now 2.5 years into our Sponsor A Village development program, Olmusereji has made tremendous progress and is well on its way to sustainability. Hundreds of families’ lives have been transformed, including Hellen’s.
“I am part of the Nashipai Ntomonok Widows Women’s Group where we each give a certain amount of money every month to a merry-go-round loan program,” said Hellen. The merry-go-round method allows us to set money aside – taking turns each month to receive the pooled funds. Every month, one person from the group is given the money. When my turn came, I used it to buy a goat and five chickens.”
Along with income training for adults, primary school education, access to clean water and sanitation, nutritious food and healthcare are provided through our Sponsor A Village 5-Pillar sustainable development model. Through the income pillar, community members like Hellen receive a variety of different types of training, ranging from animal husbandry that includes including milking and breeding animals, to vocational training and artisans projects. In addition, they receive to business and financial literacy workshops.
And adults like Hellen aren’t the only ones learning how to manage the land in Olmusereji. The sixth, seventh and eighth grade students recently journeyed outside the community’s 14 newly constructed and renovated classrooms to train on soil and water conservation practices, agroforestry and gardening. They’ve even put some of their new skills to work by planting 70 trees.
Hellen is grateful for everything she has learned through the income trainings. So far, Hellen has participated in several agricultural trainings about livestock and crop farming, which has empowered her with the skills to grow her livestock farm to three goats and twenty chickens. The goats’ milk serves as a source of nourishment for Hellen’s children and much-needed income for her family.
“Now I am able to support my family with the milk and eggs I sell,” said Hellen. “When I have more goats and chicken, I hope to sell some and use the money to start crop farming on my land.”