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The role of youth in achieving household economic stability

Francisca Syombua Maluki is 23 years old and is married to Onesmus Maluki. They are blessed with 2 children: one is schooling and the other is yet to join school. Francisca is a member of the Malioni Youth group one of the groups Anglican Development Services Eastern (ADSE) is targeting through Mutwangombe community-based organization.

The Malioni Youth group has engaged in vegetable and livestock farming to support their livelihoods. Over the years, ADSE has trained them on vegetable establishment, management and marketing, indigenous poultry production, local goats upgrading, village saving and loaning (VSL) and resource mobilization. The trainings on village saving enabled them to start saving to increasing access to credit which previously was a major challenge due to lack of security to access credit from bank and other financial institutions.

Before the project, Syombuas’ husband was the breadwinner for the family, who relied on casual jobs which are hardly reliable. Skipping meals in Syombuas’ household had become a norm resulting to children being malnourished, having low self-esteem affecting their performance in school. They have large farms but access to reliable water to irrigate their crops throughout the year was a challenge.

When ADSE constructed Kamunyu sand dam along Kamunyu river which is adjacent to my farm, Syombua was able to harvest water. The sand dam was proposed during participatory vulnerability and capacity assessment (PVCA) in early 2018. During construction, the community offered unskilled labour and local materials. The sand dam has raised the water table, assuring the community of reliable water supply or irrigation and domestic purposes throughout the year.

Syombua narrates,

“I accessed Kes 21,000 from the group VSL and invested in vegetable farming in my 2-acre farm. Applying the knowledge and skills gained during the trainings on vegetable establishment and management, coupled with frequent visits from the government extension officers, the produce was sufficient for household consumption and surplus for sale. I sold I tomatoes worth Kes 35,000, green maize worth Kes 45,000, Kales worth Kes 60,000 and spinach worth Kes 70,000”

She adds,

“I repaid the loan and used the balance to purchase a motorcycle which my husband offers transport services with earning on average Kes 650 per day. Previously we used to hire a generator to pump water to our farm, but we have now bought our own reducing on the cost of hiring. To enable our children study after school we have equipped our house with solar power for lighting. I am planning to increase the area under vegetables from 2 to 3 acres to generate more income.”

The family is happy and healthy!


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