LTRJ Note: The following update was written by one of the Kenyan board members of the Bryce Homes in Kenya program. The Bryce Homes in Kenya program has been supported by Understand the Times and Lighthouse Trails readers for over four years now. We hope you will prayerfully consider becoming part of the support system for these Christian families in Kenya. If you are looking for a place you can trust to give your missions donations, please remember the Bryce Homes (founded and directed by Understand the Times and their Canadian and US boards).
During our visit to the Bryce homes for the distribution of August food support, we took time to proceed with the assessment of various income-generating activities being practiced by some of the widows.
It is worth to note that stress and depression is the root cause of backwardness in most of the households in Kenya and even globally. The worst affected lot are women, especially the widowed who have many children to attend to. Majority of such homes are never sober enough to engage in any activity that may provide their daily bread. This has been realized as a result of various Bryce Homes in Kenya begin to lead a more or less self-sustaining lifestyle. The basic food support provided on a monthly basis relieves them from stress hence settle to undertake some SBO activities.
We profiled three unique households with attractive SBO engagements. This is in addition to the many others we wrote about previously. Some of them are discussed below.Margaret
1. The case of Margaret
Margret initially, before she was introduced to the Bryce Home programme, exhibited an exhausted life. Even though she had some parcel of land with water that could sustain crops, she lacked the energy or capital to hire labourers to assist. We then thought of providing to her family in terms of the food and overlooked her farm. She however gained strength having been under the programme for a number of years. She could then till the swampy land and little by little began to plant vegetables, arrow roots and maize. She plants the vegetables during a dry spell when the commodity is scarce. She therefore makes reasonable income by selling the vegetables especially to schools where her children learn. This has since relieved her from paying a lot of fees.
Margaret poses on her vegetable farm. The crops will be ready for the market after
Her arrow roots have also rocked the market as many people prefer such natural food stuff to other processed products with chemicals. She supplies them to some hospitals where most people with patients buy from her
Margaret joyfully shows a harvested arrowroot. She says it is her best
escort for breakfast.
Margaret surprised us when we learnt of her unique way of saving her proceed from sales. She has no idea of saving money by the bank. She however keeps it under her pillow throughout the year and converts it into the livestock. She has since bought two cows and some poultry. We advised her to open a bank account for her future savings. Her vision is big and calls for more advice and assistance to succeed.
Margaret shows us her two cows bought after saving her proceeds from the sale of vegetables.
In conclusion, we learnt a lot from Margaret and from now on we will not despise any humble SBO engagement by any of the households. We believed this will minister to many people especially other widows who are idling.Maurine
2. The case of Maurine
Maurine is a new widow under Bryce Home program and has learnt a lesson from Margaret. Since February this year when she was registered under Bryce Home, she immediately began to visit Margaret to find out what was behind her success. She curiously thought Margaret as well as other widows/women under Bryce Home program receive money on a monthly basis. This is when she learnt that Margaret only benefit from the food support which provides her with energy to do her work. Maurine immediately embarked on farming of some bulb onions which has significantly begun rewarding her. Maurine also supplies her ripe pawpaw to the hospital for sale to the people with patients.
Maurine poses on her bulb onion garden. She says she has a long way to go though
She will make it.
The pawpaw behind Maurine’s temporary house.
Generally we, the Bryce Home Board in Kenya, have realized the miraculous ways in which this program has changed the lives of the vulnerable. There is now need to take a lot of time in going round occasionally to provide the necessary guidance to other widows who have been under the program but with insignificant progress. We believe, by doing this, all will be guided to acquire self-sustaining future. Even meeting the cost of educating their children will be achievable by themselves.
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