I am Josephine Lumiti, a resident of Wournifa village, Ainabkoi/Olare ward in Ainabkoi sub-County. I am a housewife and a mother of three children. We have been depending on my husband’s income to sustain the family. However, the income has never been enough forcing me to venture into business. I began selling Sukuma wiki from house to house but later gave up due to the long distances between households and little returns from the business which also required me to wake up so early and had no time to prepare my children for school. During this time I opted to do some dairy farming with expectations of better returns but to my surprise I got less than what my Sukuma wiki business would give. It was one of my most difficult moments since my children were always at home due to lack of school fees. My daughter was getting out of control as she would even threaten to get into relationships with boda boda men so as to meet some of her needs since I had failed to do so as a parent. As a mother, this really broke my heart.
In June last year, a friend approached me after sharing my tribulations with her. She informed me of a training by I Choose Life –Africa that she thought would help me. At first I was reluctant since all I wanted at that moment was money and not knowledge. I decided to attend the training but had little expectations. The training required us to form groups and that’s when I joined the Neema group. In our groups we were taught on economic empowerment and entrepreneurship skills that included how to make savings, keep business records and actualizing our business ideas. As time went by I started seeing opportunities around me and my zeal for business grew every day and decided to open a food kiosk in in my village. The business had some challenges at first since I had never run one before and therefore I would only sell tea and maandazi and call it a day.
Through the Jiinue training on economic empowerment, I learnt the importance of having a stock for my business unlike before where I would buy sugar, oil and flour on daily basis and ended up spending more. Having consistently saved over the past months, I approached my group and requested for a loan so as to boost my business where I was given Ksh. 10,000. With this amount, I relocated my food kiosk from the interior to Wournifa Centre where I was now able to sell other meals besides tea and maandazi and also had more clients coming with great support from my group members who invited friends. For me I count this as a success in my life because today I have all my children in school and can afford basic necessities for my daughters such as sanitary towels and hence prevent them from approaching boda boda men who put them at high risk of contracting STI’s , I am empowered!
‘I can afford basic necessities for my daughters such as sanitary towels and hence prevent them from approaching boda boda men who put them at high risk of contracting STI’s, I am empowered!’, Josephine Limit
I look forward to upgrade my food kiosk into a hotel by having it renovated, branded and also expand to other villages in Ainabkoi. This would in turn create job opportunities to the young people who will not have to suffer as I did and also improve the livelihoods of our community.
I would like to thank I choose Life – Africa and Children Mission for the great job that they have done to restore hope to my family and in our community and pray that it reaches out to more people to transform their lives. May God bless you abundantly!