Three women get ahead through agriculture
Mothers across the world are unlocking their entrepreneurial spirit of with support from Unbound’s sponsorship program.
Margaret, Mariam and Jane, three women from Kenya, have explored opportunities to get ahead through agriculture. For Margaret and Jane, small loans from their Unbound mothers group helped them make their livelihoods a reality. Mothers groups comprise parents of sponsored children, including some dads. Together, the members of the group provide support and encouragement as they face trials of living in poverty.
While each woman has pursued a different agricultural venture, they’ve all been able to take another step in their journey toward economic self-sufficiency.
Margaret, 36, says her life changed dramatically after her daughter Grace was sponsored.
“I was beside myself with joy [when Grace was sponsored],” Margaret said. “I had seen what Unbound had done for the families that had their children in the program. I knew that good things were coming my way.”
Since Grace was sponsored in 2012, Margaret has utilized sponsorship benefits to help provide food for the entire family and also to cover the cost of her daughter’s tuition.
Through her mothers group, she requested a small loan to start a poultry business.
“I am happy to be part of the group,” Margaret said. “We are always there for each other. We encourage and advise each other. I feel I am not alone.”
Her business is thriving, thanks in part to the loan that helped kick-start her efforts.
“My poultry business has grown by leaps and bounds,” Margaret said, “I sell the chickens as well as the eggs.”
Margaret started with just seven chickens. Now she has 61 and plans to build a coop to house even more.
Mariam, 78, is a sponsored elder, but don’t try telling her she’s in her twilight years.
Through her sponsorship, Mariam has been able to purchase a mattress and bedding to help her sleep more comfortably. She also says she never lacks food anymore thanks to the nutrition benefits.
While her monthly sponsorship is helpful, she stays active and earns additional income by rearing sheep.
“I do not like being idle because I don’t want to get stressed,” Mariam said. “Stress makes people sick, and I do not want to be sick.
The Bible says that a lazy person is cursed; I do not want to be a cursed old woman. I am still very strong and of sound mind.”
While Mariam is independent, she acknowledges the profound impact her sponsorship has made in her life.
“Every time I think of my sponsors, I get overwhelmed,” Mariam said. “I love them so much for all they have done for me. I have food, a bed and clothes, all because of them.”
Mariam has some advice for anyone in a similar stage of life.
“I would advise them to keep themselves busy with something they like doing,” she said. “When they keep busy, they will live longer and be as happy as I am.”
Jane, 43, has seen her family benefit greatly, both physically and emotionally, with the support provided through Unbound.
Prior to her daughter Grace being sponsored, Jane’s marriage was suffering. Her husband struggled with alcoholism and it was taking a toll on the family. While the family was facing mounting frustrations, Jane took out a small loan from her support mothers group. This empowered her to not only earn additional income, but also feel dignified in the process.
“With the loan I started rearing rabbits, and I also started a grocery store where I sell vegetables,” she said. “I feel so honorable now that I run my own business.”
Jane sells the rabbits for their meat. When her grocery store has unsold vegetables, she’s able to use the leftovers to feed the rabbits so nothing goes to waste.
Her small business and the benefits from sponsorship have had a tremendous effect on her marriage.
“I would like to thank Unbound because they saved my family,” Jane said. “My husband is no longer [an alcoholic]. He is no longer frustrated with life. When Unbound came in and helped us carry our burden, the load became lighter. My husband now fully supports me, and though Unbound does not know this, they saved my marriage.”
Help lighten a family’s burden. Sponsor a child today!