WE SEE HOPE IN JENNIFER
Jennifer lives in a village in Kenya with four of her five children. Her husband regularly works away from home and she used to be left to provide for the basic needs of her children; “We lived a simple and hard life since my husband and I didn’t have a steady source of income, only depending on casual labour which was not guaranteed every day… The task was overwhelming to me and most of the time we only afforded one meal per day, not forgetting how hard it was paying of school fees.”
Jennifer joined our Village Investors Programme (VIP) in 2015, having seen how other parents were benefiting from it in her village.
After seven months of being part of her VIP group, Jennifer took a loan to start her own business. She did some research and discovered her village did not have any infrastructure in place that could supply clean water. She saw this as an opportunity and bought herself a donkey using the loan from her VIP group.
Jennifer soon expanded her business: “After paying and clearing balances of the loan, during share out at the end of the year, I got a cart from a friend [which] I could pay [for in] instalments.” She then transported the clean water up to four times a day to the village to sell, increasing her income so much that she was able to take another loan and buy an additional cart and donkey; “Now I am proudly the owner of two donkeys and two carts supplying more than 4,000 litres of water in a day.”
Since joining the VIP group, Jennifer’s life has drastically changed; “Now we can manage to have three meals a day, pay secondary and primary school fees. I have even created a job opportunity by employ[ing] a young man from [my village],” so he too now has a reliable source of income. Crucially, Jennifer’s children are seeing the benefits as they no longer have to fetch firewood for cooking because “I bought a gas cooker and now they have plenty of time to do their homework.”
Jennifer concludes – “We feel very lucky to have such a programme in our area. My vision is that one day I will own a tuktuk for water vending!”