October 14th, 2015
Some years ago these single mothers from Nakuru were living a hard life in either abusive marriages or working as prostitutes. But thanks to The Kenya Food Basket Program, their lives are today completely different.
The Kenya Food Basket Program is a collaboration between IAS and the Swedish food delivery company Linas Matkasse. It´s a support project that help people to have a long-term economic growth. The beneficiaries are people living with HIV/Aids, elderly, persons with disabilities and single parents.
– The beneficiaries receives a food basket once a month during 18 months so that they can increase personal savings. They are also part of a self-help group to strengthen their self-sufficiency and economic empowerment, says Susan Kiambi, Programme Manager IAS Kenya and responsible for Kenya Food Basket Program.
Rescued from the street
The group of young single mothers consists of 20 members who are between 23-27 years old. Most of them have been rescued from either abusive marriages or from Nakuru streets where they worked as prostitutes.
-In Nakuru we are in partnership with a crisis centre in a local church which rescues young women in difficulties. These women go through counseling and are part of support groups where they meet and share experiences. After they have been rehabilitated, they are trained in different income generating activities, says Susan Kiambi.
Starting their own businesses
The young mothers have been part of IAS Food Basket Program during 18 months and today they stand on their own. Some of them have gone back to school to attain skills such as tailoring or bead work classes and some of them are running their own small business.
-I met with them several times and they all have a very positive attitude. One girl named Eddah, is selling second hand clothes and another girl Teresia sells potatoes to a wholesale company. Some of them also work as casual laborers like washing clothes in some of the hotels in Nakuru. They all support each other and believe they will manage on their own even when the Food Basket Program is finished.
Text: Rebecka Woods
Photo: Susan Kiambi