Kabwalin Widows and Orphans Group
We met widow Atengi Veritas in 2000. Her son and daughter in law had died of AIDS and she was struggling to raise a grand daughter and grandson on half an acre of land, living in 2 grass roofed huts, the sky visible through holes in the thatch. We were able to fund new roofs and some food, but a sustainable solution was necessary.
Pastor Robert Adiba suggested we fund a cooperative of 26 widows to grow 1 acre of cassava on their own land, so they were paid as they worked. The resulting harvest helped to break the poverty trap, as members worked themselves out of poverty.
The Group quickly grew to 102. A small Grinding mill was built in 2003, and a cattle stocking project added in 2006. The project was so successful that a larger mill was added in 2008.
The Cooperative has changed the lives of the members, food & clothes are no longer a problem, and many have been able to build their own brick houses and send their children to school. One member has just celebrated the graduation of her son, something unthinkable 11 years ago. The Mill continues to work well. We were able to realign and service the machines in January 14 providing space to store grain.
All the members now have cattle. Atengi has been able to build a clay brick house with a corrugated tin roof and to breed cattle from the first project donated cow. Her children went to school, and are now grown, and her cows provided a dowry for her grandson to marry. Membership of Kabwalin Widows and Orphans Group and her hard work has changed her life for the better.