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Widow Poverty

KENYA: HUNGER CRISIS ACROSS WIDOWED HOUSEHOLDS AS PRICES OF FOOD COMMODITIES GO UP. 

Widow Poverty

Widowed households across Kenya have asked the government and supporting organizations to cushion them from an impending hunger crisis. This is after the price of essential commodities skyrocketed. The government recently reduced the prices of maize flour by 2 shillings which is still insignificant.

17% of Kenya’s population lives below a dollar a day. Widows living in low-income households make up part of these statistics. To afford maize flour, a staple meal in Kenyan households, these populations have to earn twice as much. The World Bank warns that the high food prices have triggered a crisis that will drive millions into extreme poverty, magnifying hunger and malnutrition while threatening to erase hard-won gains in development.

An unending cycle of poverty.

Given this, rising food prices have a greater negative impact on low- and middle-income households as they spend a majority of their earnings buying food.

“Everything is so expensive. I have 5 children who I have to take care of alone. My husband died and left me with nothing so I have to work very hard. But all of my earnings go to buying food and paying school fees.” narrates Joyce Tabitha, a widow beneficiary of The Goat Foundation.

Like Joyce, many other widows are experiencing the impact of inflation. Left alone to cater to households with some having no sources of income; they can barely afford food.

When the gross income of a population goes to expenses rather than investments, debt arises. If not, the quality of life will not be improved as all earnings are spent. This creates a wealth gap as the poor continue earning to meet their basic needs.

The Goat Foundation support

In the face of this crisis, The Goat Foundation in partnership with Financially Fit has deployed short-term and long-term responses to address food insecurity. This is by strengthening the capacities of widows across rural communities to efficiently cater to themselves.

So far, we have;

  1. ) Donated 500 goats to 250 widowed households living in extreme poverty across Kenya.

     2.) Partnered with Financially Fit to educate our beneficiaries on social enterprises they can grow from our goat donations.

Equally, we are working to partner with agricultural-based organizations to help us in educating widowed farming communities on best practices to increase their total farm outputs.

THE SUFFERING OF ELDERLY WIDOWS ACROSS DEVELOPING NATIONS.

An elderly woman looks on.

Watch Lydia’s interview by clicking here.

The prices of food commodities globally have gone up. This could be directly linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia actively supplies Kenya with 32% of its wheat imports. The impact of this has been felt by low-income households, among them widowed households across rural Kenya.

Lydia is among the majority of widows across Africa who have to care for both their children and grandchildren. Old and nearing retirement, elderly widows have it rough. They have to work twice as harder to ensure their families are well cared for. In the case their children died and are left to care for their grandchildren, the responsibility to put them through school falls on their shoulders.

Elderly widows have been left to inherit debts from their spouses and children. A majority of them have low-literacy levels and entering the job market has often proven difficult. For such women, menial jobs are readily available. But with aging, comes physical changes that do not allow them to undertake strenuous labor.

A solution for elderly widows.

When The Goat Foundation was started, The Founder’s goal was to address global poverty by offering long-term sustainable solutions to wealth creation. Poverty among widowed populations is gendered and the only way to alleviate is to ensure every population has a chance at wealth creation.

Elderly widows across rural Africa like Lydia are benefitting from our initiative. Through the gift of goats, they are able to cater to their immediate and long-term needs. With arable land to shelter these goats, they are to take care of them and ensure they reproduce. This goes on as they equally receive financial education on how best to increase their goat’s output in producing milk and manure.

On top of these, they learn business practices on value addition that ensure additional income. For example, in the comfort of their home, they can easily make butter, ghee, and other dairy products that are high in demand across the markets in Kenya.