Nduku with two of her children standing by her home
As Easter approaches, I am reminded of the hope we have in new life. In Kenya, the rains come at this time of year, and we see the barren land erupt into a profusion of growth and colour that bring the promise of new life.
Development projects also bring new life and hope through change, but not all of the effects of projects can be anticipated. These unintended consequences can be negative or positive. Nduku’s story demonstrates the positive effects that the development of Eggpreneur has had on the local community.
Soon after we began the construction of the training facility and barn on the home base of Eggpreneur, I was approached by a neighbourhood woman requesting a small amount of money. She was begging because she had a sick child and no money. I saw the desperation in her eyes, and I gave her a little money. But she came back the next day and the next. Finally, I said, “I cannot give you any more money, but I can give you a job.”
Nduku is now an extremely loyal, diligent and hardworking employee at the Eggpreneur base farm. With regular access to eggs and steady income, her children are clearly thriving and no longer have the obvious signs of malnourishment. Nduku lives with her four children in a leaky 10x10 foot room. The roof is weighted with rocks to prevent it from blowing away. The kitchen is a separate shack constructed from branches and plastic and cloth scraps. The ‘structure’ which was her bathroom, has blown away. But Nduku has hope and she is dreaming. From each pay period she saves enough money to buy two sheets of tin metal for a two room house she wants to build.
Nduku only went to school up to grade 2, and some of the local shopkeepers have taken advantage of her illiteracy and charged her inappropriate amounts for her maize, beans and tin sheets. But Nduku is beginning to attend portions of the Women Eggpreneur trainings – and she is learning more about business and money management.
When the vision of Eggpreneur was being born, I dreamt about the changes it could bring to the Women Eggpreneurs, I wasn’t thinking as much about the effect the employment on the base farm would bring to the local community. Being blessed by Nduku’s cheerful smile and knowing her children are fed and in school energizes me each day.