Carol: "My eyes and mind have been opened"


Carol had always looked forward to change the story of her family and build a secure future for her children. “We used to walk a long distance of over 10 kilometres to fetch water. My children could get too tired and they did not get enough time to study since they would return home late. Their security was also at risk. This inspired me to take necessary measures,” tells 43 years old Carol, mother of four from Mavindini (Kenya). Together with her husband she relied on casual work which earned them very little income.

Being a member of a Self-help group gave Carol the opportunity she had long yearned for. She received training on various aspects of household development including entrepreneurship, needs identification and prioritization. With backup from her husband, she took a loan from the self-help group, supported by Help a Child. She bought a plastic water tank for harvesting clean and safe water for drinking.

However, her dream was more than that. She achieved to build a family earth dam for collection of water. achieved through securing another loan ofrom the group and with linkages to the county government she got access to an excavator that made her a sizable dam at a subsidized cost. Carol: “I now have adequate water for all my household needs. My children are now able to perform better in school and engage in other activities since they do not spend a lot of time searching for water as before.”

Carol watering vegetables with water from the new dam.
Carol has used the dam water to establish a kitchen garden in her compound that has helped promote the nutritional aspect of the family. This has also made her save on vegetable expenses and given her children opportunity to participate through managing the kitchen garden. Carol looks forward to investing in largescale production of vegetables to supply in the nearby market for income generation. Carol also aspires to venture into bricks making since she has seen this as an opportunity for alternative way of earning income.

“I did not know that the self-help group could bring my family up to this far. As women, we only thought of undertaking the minor aspects in the family but our eyes and minds have been opened to the world of tangible household development initiatives,” Carol concludes.

Carol encourages other women to echo the motto of self-help groups on using their potential and learned skills for the development of their own households.