In Rongo, Kenya, there is a large population of vulnerable widow women, often mums, who struggle to put food on the table because of HIV/AIDS. Family expenses are very high and even sending children to school is sometimes hard as the education system in Kenya requires cost sharing between the government and citizens. Therefore the beneficiaries must buy school uniforms, exercise books, text books and pens for their children to go to school. As a result, many kids drop out of school and get caught in the vicious cycle of poverty.
Tzedek, with our local partner JITEGEMEE, runs an agriculture project aimed at training 169 women in farming techniques by building a greenhouse and growing crops in kitchen gardens, mostly fruits and vegetables. The women can use the vegetable produce for household needs and sell the surplus for money. The budget includes money for farm equipment, water storage tanks, cost of training and transport.
JITEGEMEE also provides the women training in financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills.
The project is benefiting the 172 women directly. In the first six months, the participants have managed to increase their income from KES 104 (70p) to KES 330 a day (£2.2). All of the women managed to build their own kitchen gardens and produce enough fruit and vegetable to sell in the local market.
The project was able to create a seedling reserve from the first plantation round. This is used as a back-up for the first group or a starter-set for following groups. The use of wood-ash as a pesticide means that there is no expense on chemicals for farming. The organization also managed to encourage a local boarding school to regularly purchase vegetables from the women. After the initial seed-fund, the project is able to sustain itself effectively.
The project’s cost is £1,576