So in our first week in Kenya, Christina and I came up with, what we think is, a brilliant plan. It's a fund-raising project in order to purchase some water tanks for the new members of the Muchui Women's Group.
The Muchui women’s group is a group of hard working farmers who live in an area that has faced both draught and famine. As a result these women have struggled to provide food and water for their families, and to maintain their crops and livestock. With the help of Farmers Helping Farmers, the group was formed in 1992. Through generous donations from the people of PEI and through government funding, Farmers Helping Farmers has been able to provide a water-catchment tank, drip irrigation system and grain storage tanks to each woman in the group. They have also built a business center where the women are able to sell their harvested crops. Some of the other benefits of being a member include education sessions regarding crop diversification, growing indigenous species, blood pressure clinics, nutrition seminars and a community in which to lean on during hard times. The group originally consisted of 62 members, but has recently expanded to include 100. The new members, while able to reap the benefits of the community of the women’s group immediately, will have to wait until more funding is available to have access to the equipment that will enable them to be as successful as the older members.
As the Nutrition Team, we really wanted to give back to the community since these women have been such valuable resources in our understanding of Kenyan food and culture. We’ve noticed that the availability of water, via water tanks at each home, has a direct impact the level of food security for these women. As a means of giving back, we are fundraising with the goal of purchasing 2 water tanks and the gutters that they require for new members. In order to accomplish this, we have teamed up with Ester. Ester, a member of the Muchui Women’s Group executive, is in her 30s and has 2 school-aged children. Farmers Helping Farmers has ‘adopted’ her and has provided her with a sewing machine to enable her to generate a sustainable income.
The aprons will be sold for a minimum donation of 20$ as soon as we get back from Kenya in September. We picked up the first 30 completed aprons and they look great! So far there are no kikoi aprons completed, but the other fabrics look awesome. We are really, really exited to show them off and get selling as soon as we get home! Ester told us today that both her kids have really been enjoying the apron making process and have been helping her out a lot. She's really excited about the project and was all smiles!
Not only will buying an apron directly support the women's group, but aprons are also making a major comeback! <----- that article from the Globe and Mail proves it!