When you meet Anastasia for the first time, she will pass for your normal village lady. Dressed in a black skirt and a matching red and white top and rubber shoes. Her face glows with a smile after I ask about her success. “Never have I felt this happy about my life,” she opens up.
“I got married and delivered my first son at a very tender age. I had spoken defeat in my life as I had no source of income and depended on my husband even for the cheapest thing in the house; A matchbox. At times he could not talk to me.”
On a routine visit to the market, she met a HiH EA field officer who was conducting an outreach activity to a group of women. She pensively sat at a distance listening to every word. She got interested and later approached the officer to seek on how she would benefit from the training. She quickly spread the word to her friends who came together and formed the Makutano Faith self help group. “Earlier, i had started a tailoring business but it closed down because I did not know how to manage it properly. After joining HiH EA, the trainer taught me on group dynamics, enterprise development, record keeping and handling customers well. Am now rich in knowledge and my tailoring business is up and running.”
The mother of 3 is now the group secretary and is happy that the group has created a platform for sharing ideas.
In her vegetable farm, we are exposed to Anastasia, the farmer. She plants cabbages, kales and spinach in her one acre farm. Barefoot, she sets the water pump on the ground and starts irrigating her crops. She amazes us with the zeal and ease at which she does her work. “My workload has greatly lessened. The thought that am now using this moneymaker pump instead of the jerricans I used before gives me a lot of fulfillment. I have taught my 7 year old son how to use it and you will be amazed he does it better than me.”
The idea of vegetable farming crossed Anastasia’s mind after she underwent a training facilitated by HiH EA’s Partner KickStart International. Her one acre piece of land once lay bare with no crops planted
“When I look back to 3 years ago I had no direction and hope. Now look at me! Am living a dignified life because I chose to be hopeful.”
She bought the pump after accessing the HiH EA Enterprise Incubation Loan.
“The enterprise training and the pump are just what I needed.” Says Anastasia who now sells her cabbages and kales to neighbours and take some to the nearby market. Her earlier income was Ksh. 3,000, now she gets Ksh. 6000 per month from the two enterprises.
“The teacher taught us about having your eggs in different baskets- enterprise diversification, here I am now with my vegetable farm, the extra Ksh. 2,000 I get from selling vegetables has made things easier for me, I can now buy food and take my children to school without much struggle.”
Anastasia plans to buy a bigger pump so that she can expand her vegetable farming business, she plans to lease another piece of land nearby. She is also planning to employ an energetic young man to help her in pumping the water to her vegetable farm.