This month, WOW is conducting a campaign to generate funds in support of our Kenyan sisters in Homebay, a peanut growing region of the Nyanza Province. The women participating in The Gutuka Project are members of a local SACCO, a savings and credit cooperative, chaired under the leadership of Jenipher Otieno. All Funds generated from WOW’s campaign will go directly to the project.
The Cost of the Program:
There are three financial components to the proposed project. The first is to raise money for the purchase of seed for planting peanuts, estimated around $800 US dollars. Planting time for peanuts begins in November. There are generally two successive plantings for the peanut crop. The second is to purchase a peanut grinding machine estimated at $700 US dollars. The peanut grinder is a means for the women to produce peanut butter, which is a nutritious product as well as cash generating for their families. The third component is continuing education for the women, estimated at $1000 US dollars. Building their capacity through training in business skills, will help them improve their income generating and saving activities. These families have already raised $500 US dollars toward the project themselves by saving $2 US dollars a month consistently.
The Heart of the Program:
The purpose in the forming of the coop initially was to provide sustainable solutions for the many orphans in the area. It is often very economically difficult to add an extra person to a household already struggling in this region. There are currently about 30 women involved in the coop. Most of the women in the Gutuka program are the bread winners in their households. They provide for their families through small businesses that include the farming of peanuts, making baskets, raising poultry and making of peanut butter. What makes these women and the program so special is that many of the women have opened their hearts and homes to orphans, that had no place to go. The Coop makes it economically possible to care for the children as well as their families.
The How of the Program:
Each family is responsible for their own planting and harvest. At harvest, the individual families will be paid cash for their crop. The peanut grinding machine will be kept at a center, where the peanut butter is ground. Proceeds from the sale of the peanut butter will go toward food subsidies for the children, and the future purchase of more peanut seed, which the families will receive for free to replant the next crop.
Gutuka is a Swahili word meaning “self-realization,” or as we would say in the US, self-reliant. This is the type of genuine investment in women that WOW advocates for. Please join WOW in making a donation today to help plant seeds of local self-government in the fields of our Kenyan sisters’ gardens. Just go to WOW’s website, and press the donate button. Enter your donation amount. Tag the donation as “Gutuka Program.” We appreciate your support of this project, and all donations are tax deductible.