These HIV+ mothers, widows and elderly grandparents caring for their grandchildren have no means of supporting themselves, and no form of generating income. Therefore, they and their children and grandchildren are at high risk of malnutrition and disease.
1. The two babies from the two HIV+ mothers were severely malnourished when we first met them as their mothers were told to stop nursing them due to the HIV. Instead, the babies were slowly starving to death. In addition, some of the elderly grandmother caregivers for their orphaned grandchildren were also in dire straits. Thus began the Kids 4 Kids program. To the two HIV+ mothers and two of the grandmothers a female goat was given. When the first female kid (baby goat) is born, it is given to someone else in their support group. The rest of the kids they can keep and raise for food, school fees, seed, and so forth. This enables the group to be self-sustaining and leads to a generous spirit.
Within 10 months we have seen tremendous empowerment occurring among these women. This program has also now expanded to widows. Not only are the babies thriving from the goat milk, but they can use the manure for fertilizer on their fields plus they now have a source of income. An exciting turn of events has been that most of the goats have had a female kid the first time. Already this program is up to over 80 goats and it keeps growing. 2. The Muslim chiefs asked us to start a program helping these ladies raise pigs. Four women together receive a female pig. When it is raised and gives birth, each woman receives a piglet as her own with extra piglets going back to Kondanani to be given (or paid forward) to more needy women. The mother pig is then sold with the proceeds divided between the four women and Kondanani. Out of these proceeds, women are building themselves houses plus 12 houses have been built for elderly grandmother widows.
3. In addition, we provided training through the Village Savings and Loan model. The HIV+ women, Women of Hope, the widows, and the elderly grandmothers have support groups. Each group has been trained, now saves money, lends it to another in the group to start a micro-enterprise, and the loans are paid back. To date, 100% of the loans have been paid back. These women are no longer beggars but are self-supporting and able to provide for themselves and their children.
The University of Malawi, in a research conducted in Naisi, concluded that the goats, pigs, and Village Savings and Loan where small businesses have been started has made a major positive impact on this community. Thank you partners for making such a difference for these women.
Now over 80 women each have a goat and over 30 have a pig. In addition, 50+ have started their own life-changing business. Thanks to you, this project is continuing to grow and is impacting this community plus 25 other villages!
Changing one life at a time is changing a community!
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