KMET’S VALUE ADDITION PROGRAM CHANGES WOMAN’S LIFE

KMET’s Urban Livelihood Project (ULSP) held a  vetting exercise amongst the beneficiaries of the Value Addition Program on Thursday 24th to 26th April 2014.

This was to verify and ascertain their eligibility for new equipment they’re supposed to be benefiting from. During the exercise, they also got a chance to see how the previously administered interventions (issued seeds, rabbits, chickens etc. And value addition training) have impacted on the beneficiaries’ livelihoods, boosted their incomes and impacted on the lives of the community in general.

The vetting process

The vetting process

SUCCESS IN OBUNGA
In the second largest slum in Kisumu City, Obunga, members from different Value Addition groups namely: Obunga Central, Kamakowa, Segasega And Kasarani gathered for the process.

One of the program beneficiaries is Christine Awino. Her face lit up as she happily thanked KMET’s Debra Otambo for what KMET has done for her and her family, “Japuonj an amor gi gima usetimona, tinde apuro nyanya kendo auso to chiemo be koro ok akosi” meaning; “I am impressed at how KMET has changed my life, I can now till my farm, sell the produce and even have enough to eat”

After a later visit to her house in Obunga’s Kasarani area by the Urban Livelihoods team, the story was finally put into clearer perspective, being mother of six and guardian to two more, she knows well what it means to struggle to make ends meet in Obunga slum, previously without any properly marketable skills or a steady job/business.

After attending a value addition training organized by the ULSP program in partnership with Concern Worldwide and its partners including Ministry of Agriculture, Lake Basin Development Authority, and Kisumu Industrial Research and Development Institute (where a total of 100 beneficiaries ,75 Females; 25 Males were trained on value addition and business skills from 30th September to 11th October, 2013), she saw the need to be economically independent.

Feeling empowered, she saw the need to implement what she learnt to benefit her and her family. She then chose to venture into agribusiness .So in January of 2014, with seeds acquired from KMET, she started tilling a small patch of land behind their small mud, grass-thatched house with the help of her husband and children.

Christine Awino(R) picking tomatoes from her farm

Christine Awino(R) picking tomatoes from her farm

Now after close to five months of farming she is already diversifying by planting pawpaw, passion fruit and sukuma-wiki. Fully grown pawpaw trees line the sides of her small garden almost ready for harvest and she even practices good farming methods like crop rotation and use of organic manure.

Even though access to water for irrigation is a major setback as the bore hole is a little far from her house, the garden produces around a crate of tomatoes every week which can fetch 3000 to 4000 shillings. School fees is no longer too big of a problem
Asepuonjora kalo aora kenda” she said to the urban livelihoods team. Loosely translated to mean: I have already learnt to cross the river on my own” in reference to her new-found economic independence.

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