After some fairly difficult months, with women being discouraged by their fellow women who viewed the shamba as a waste of time and preferred to burn charcoal which is quick income yet totally unsustainable and contributing to desertification
Rebecca Atabo and fellow women and a young girl proudly show the fruits of their labor.
the Nakechichok Women had a reason to celebrate. They were making their first sale; selling spinach to TBI; their partner offering research in soil quality, best practices in food production and now sampling the food quality.
As i joined them in celebrating this sale, they did not hesitate to remind me of the challenges that they endure of having to carry water from the river, which while is not far from the shamba, is quite a strenuous activity as the shamba is relatively big and the conversation does not end without the common complaint of hunger and the hot sun. I intentionally ignore that statement, changing the discussion to a more positive note, with discussions of the next sale, as we see the kunde (traditional greens) ready for harvest
And the discussion changed quite fast as they started prospecting on the sales from the kunde and how the total sales would be divided into three; distribution among the women, reinvest into the shamba and some funds will be banked for future use; a concept i never heard among these women prior to the group being formed. It was a very positive discussion, and as i quickly shift my eyes from one woman to the next, I see the same sense of hope and future aspirations in their faces. A personal realization that this women had dared to dream.
And while they still have a lot of challenges, this time there is some difference from the previous times. This time they are doing something about it.They are working hard, and willing to learn, when they fall down, they stand up. They were engaging in something positive and sustainable. They ware taking control of their lives.