Meet women who have exemplified what unity is all about. Twale upendo women group is a self-help group based in Twale village, Tigania West in Meru-Kenya. Just like any other booming business that starts with an idea. This women group too is not an exceptional, their journey of transformation began way back in 2013. ‘‘we started as five members out of love to solve our common challenges as neighbors, we realized that during planting seasons one of us would totally lack money or seeds to plant in their small pieces of land. Therefore our small funds pooled together from the five members would be given to a member to solve the challenge and that was it, there we are today.’’ Elizabeth Kathure, secretary narrated their story to us.
The group proudly led by Susan Mwonjaru, chairlady; Elizabeth Kathure, secretary; Sarah Kanduku, treasurer grew its membership from 5 to 11 members in 2014. Later in 2017 escalated to 24 and currently they are enjoying a membership of 31. Their partnership with CIFORD-Kenya began just 3 years ago, having been assigned a field officer to organize, plan and execute their weekly trainings in matters sustainable agriculture and community health has not only transformed their group well-being but touched them at personal level too through the homestead visitations.
‘’We now have 48 chairs, utensils (plates, spoons and cups) for hiring to the community. as we look forward to purchasing a 50 seater tent, our gratitude to Ciford-Kenya will never be enough for opening our eyes to come up with such income generating activities from our merry go rounds, thanks to you for shaping our thinking.’’ Sarah Kanduku, treasurer told us during our meeting with the group. Their unity has taught them learn to agree to disagree, having faced so many challenges like the 2019 long season of drought that threatened membership subscription in the merry go round and unable to meet their basic needs. This enabled them to develop a thick skin to the future problems. They are clinging on hope that it will be okay even during this season of the global pandemic.
‘’My greatest achievement as the chairlady is the fact that we are able to pay the school fees of our children from our table banking without going for bank loans or debts from our friends. Since we started, there is no single case of one of our members who has failed to educate her children because of lack of money. We always come to the aid of every member.’’ Susan Mwonjaru, chairlady
In CIFORD-Kenya, we believe that we can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, Broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Women are key players in building the nation, women empowerment is a key factor in the social and economic success of a nation. Therefore we urge you to support us in this journey of investing in our community women.