We’d like to introduce you to Esther.
Esther is a widow and mother to eight children. She is also part of a vulnerable women’s group supported by a little bit of HOPE, through our work with Vulnerable Households. Esther’s life began to transform after her women’s group was provided with seeds and agricultural training.
She’d like to share her story with you.
My name is Esther and I live in Buwihula Village, where a little bit of HOPE is working. I lost my husband in 2014 and have eight children (4 girls and 4 boys). My eldest have been married in the traditional way at an early age and did not go far in education due to lack of school fees. I live with two of my younger children and am only a peasant farmer, so I struggle to provide for the family needs and to pay my children’s school fees.
I’m part of Mukisa Gwa Mukama women’s group and this year we were given some seeds to help us establish vegetable gardens in our homes. I grew my seeds on mandala (circular garden divided into segments) and kitchen gardens, after being trained in sustainable vegetable production, and the yield was good. I sold some of the produce and we ate the rest. This really boosted our diet as a family and our neighbours were very happy because we gave them some of the harvest. With the modern methods of production and farming that we learnt in the group, I was able to harvest my vegetables even during the dry spell when there were hardly any green vegetables in the market.
On one day of selling some of my crops, I earned 30,000 shillings (around £7.50), which helped me pay school fees for my child at school. On other days selling vegetables I earned money that meant I was able to meet daily needs such as soap, sugar and medical care. I no longer have to worry about having enough money to meet some of the immediate needs at home.
With every woman contributing to the group needs and working together, we were able to buy two goats. I am very proud knowing that in the future, when they have grown, we’ll be able to get bulls and an ox-plough to help us in our garden work.
This group has helped me personally in other ways too, as we all support each other. In the past I wouldn’t express myself or speak up, but now I can say that I was elected chairperson of the farming committee within our group.
On behalf of the the other group members, we are so grateful for the seeds, training, hampers and continued support given to us by a little bit of HOPE. These benefits have changed our lives, as we had lost hope in life being widows.
Thank you for your support through which people like me receive meaningful and sustainable help. May the Good Lord bless you!