Camille Guyot-Bender works in the Operations Department supporting each of ACF's technical sectors: Food Security and Livelihoods, Nutrition, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, and Advocacy.
Mothers on a Mission: Women's Support Groups Strengthen Communities
Our teams support a group of women in Kenya who are transforming their community
December 9, 2013
Action Against Hunger’s commitment to ending malnutrition goes beyond just addressing its immediate symptoms. We also tackle the underlying causes of hunger, which include problems like weak local economies and lack of access to food. Many mothers of young children in the communities we serve face these challenges, so they understand—and are in a unique position to positively change—the issues that affect their children’s nutritional health.
Mothers supporting mothers
In an effort to empower mothers, we helped fifteen women living in the village of Barambate, Kinna District, Kenya to form a Mother-to-Mother Support Group.Their initial goal was to educate and support one another by sharing their experiences with nursing, hygiene, and other essential childcare practices that help prevent malnutrition. In a community where women’s groups aren’t common, this Mother-to-Mother Support Group offered a new way for women to take an active role in improving their families’ well-being.
Originally formed in 2010, the group grew so successful that in March of this year its members were awarded a grant, which they invested in a small business: selling medicine for livestock. We worked with a local bank to provide the members with proper business training like financial management, record keeping, and organizational structure. The group now has a Chairlady, who is proud of the accomplishments of these women.
“Previously, local women never used to have groups or meet in our area, but nowadays even men have realized that if women are empowered, they can join hands and come up with business ideas that can help households.”– Catherine Roba, Chairlady of the Mother-to-Mother Support Group, Barambate, Kenya
Successful women, healthy communities
Since the group first formed their small business, their progress has been incredible. Their profits have allowed each member to buy a goat, which provides a steady source of milk for her household. And they are sharing their success with others: each woman in the group donates some of her earnings to a communal pot, a portion of which is used on a monthly basis to support two of the group’s members.
The success of this Mother-to-Mother Support Group is undeniable, and is inspiring other groups to form. We’re working with government agencies in Kinna District to build their capacity so they can facilitate more groups like this one. We want to empower even more women in Kenya and across the world to realize their dreams of fruitful businesses, healthier families, and stronger communities. Your support can improve the lives of these ambitious women and generations of women to come.
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