Cooking for Life

Shambani Village, Kenya

Mama Akale, an HIV-positive widow, shares how embarrassing life was when she used to survive on her neighbors’ leftovers. Making ends meet sounded like a fairy tale. For herself and her children, there was stigmatization and rejection. The people who treated them badly were the same people they looked to for help. Mama Akale confesses that at times she felt like taking her own life, but for the love of her children, she held on strongly.

‘’Then there came an organization called GHNI,” she adds, saying that we touched lives in the village in a unique way. We took time for those living with AIDS and did counseling on how to live well.

In the process, many widows were informed of a microfinance group that was formed to transform lives by micro lending and small business coaching. Mama Akale was not locked out, as with other groups. She enrolled in a women’s income group immediately.

Today, Mama Akale is a happy mother who is able to put bread on the table for her family, without begging from anybody. She cooks food at the site of many casual laborers who load sand into lorries and then eat from her small food kiosk.

Mama Akale appreciates all the work we did to remove stigmatization and teach the village well!