Apr 24 2012

Family steps toward economic self-sufficiency in Kenya

By Regina Mburu, CFCA communications liaison in Nairobi, Kenya

The mooing of cows, clucking of chickens and cooing of doves welcome you to this special home, which lies just a few miles from the equator near Nanyuki, Kenya.

Mwai family in Kenya

Elizabeth and Dominic are urban slum farmers in Kenya. Two of their children are sponsored through CFCA.

As Dominic feeds the cows, his wife, Elizabeth, is busy making sure the chickens have enough to eat.

However, it was not always like this.

Dominic and Elizabeth, who live in a slum area, were struggling to provide for their five children. As a cook, Dominic was hardly earning enough to sustain his family’s needs, and Elizabeth was a housewife.

“We used to live in a one-room house,” Elizabeth said. “Food was hard to come by, not to mention taking our children to school. Life was unbearable; our neighbors were avoiding us because of our many problems. We felt like outcasts.”

In 2002, their life changed when their sons John and Martin were sponsored through the Hope for a Family sponsorship program.

The two boys could now go to school as sponsorship covered their tuition fees and school supplies. The family also got nutritional benefits such as rice from the sponsorship program.

With some burdens lifted off their shoulders, the family decided to save some money and start a poultry business. Their passion for animal husbandry could now be put in practice.

CFCA staff helped the family get a farming grant through the CFCA livelihood program. The grant helped the family start a poultry business, raising chicken for eggs and meat.

They sell these products and make some money. This has greatly improved their livelihood.

They also bought a cow, which they milk. It does not end there; the family has doves that they sell as well as ducks and turkeys.

Elizabeth is a member of a CFCA mothers group, and she is the group’s leader.

Hope for a Family cake

Dominic and Elizabeth presented this 'Hope for a Family' cake to CFCA President Bob Hentzen during the mission awareness trip to Kenya. The family runs a small catering business.

“I have learned so much by interacting with other women. I have seen the importance of saving money,” she said.

Through the group, Elizabeth has received loans, which have helped her and her family as they strive toward economic self-sufficiency.

“I look back and see how far we have come as a family,” she said. “I am so grateful to CFCA for their support.”

The family also has a great passion for cooking. They have started an outside catering business, where they cook for people and special occasions.

“Other families can make it, too. It just takes hard work and patience,” Dominic said. “It does not matter how poor your background was; keep your eyes focused to the future. Do your work and God will make it flourish.”

John, who is sponsored, is taking a course in catering and hotel management. He said, “As a young boy I looked up to my father and I admired his culinary skills, and so I decided that I would follow in his steps. I thank CFCA for helping me pursue my childhood dream.”

To his sponsor John says, “If I could, I would cook for you the rest of your life, just to show you how much I appreciate your help towards me and my family.”

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