(“Angaza” means light in Kiswahili)
The Angaza Widows Group consists of a group of widowed Kenyan women, most of who come from Chebaiywa village and its environs. Many of these women struggle with common challenges, including: coping with the death of a spouse, the stigma of HIV/Aids, inadequate finances, and the challenge of raising children as a single parent. To help with these issues, the group strives to provide emotional and spiritual support, along with income-generating activities. The most recent of these activities is referred to as the Chicken Program, which was developed to help these widows earn a livelihood and provide for their families.
The Chicken Program
This program is currently in a pilot phase and is comprised of 35 women, all with a limited means of financial support and enough land to raise chickens. Each member must agree to build housing for the chickens before they can be received. As funds are available, 11 chickens are then given to each of these women. Training is provided every Wednesday to offer support and help ensure the success of the program. The pilot will be monitored over time with the goal to set up a revolving fund for future members. After the first year, each member who receives chickens will be required to give 11 chickens to another widow. After the second year, another 11 will go towards the group’s savings. The hope is that this will allow the project to continue without relying on constant support from the outside. However, the program has just begun, and it could use your support. Due to limited funds, only 13 of the 35 women have currently received their chickens. If you would like to donate to this valuable cause, please click here.
Case Example: Stella Rotich
Stella is a middle-aged lady who is HIV positive. She was married to a polygamous husband who passed away in 2007, leaving her with two school-aged children. The challenges that Stella faces as a widow are enormous and nearly overwhelming. She uses her meager earnings to pay school fees for her two children, one of whom is in high school and is disabled. Her daughter relies on crutches for general physical weakness and cannot walk far. This necessitates that Stella finds a boarding school and pay an extra fee for the special care that her daughter needs. Stella’s farm also needs fertilizer so that she can receive a higher, better quality output. This is a cost that is an extreme burden on her slim income. Stella greatly benefits from the Angaza Widows Group with emotional and spiritual support, along with small financial loans. Recently, Stella has begun keeping chickens with the assistance of the group and does farming on ¾ of an acre.
This is just one of the many cases that describe these widows. Despite such overwhelming circumstances, the women are hopeful and confident that each day ahead will be better than the previous. Please help us make this a reality by donating today!