Caren Adhiambo lives in Ohinga, in the Kakrao region of Kenya. After having receiving training from Ripple Effect, Caren and many others in her community now have incomes from the sustainable farms and gardens they have planted.
Ohinga is a village where many vulnerable families have struggled in the face of harsh livelihood challenges, especially food and income insecurity. Those, like Caren, who are HIV positive have suffered discrimination from the community and have a severe lack of confidence.
Since losing her husband, life became even more challenging for Caren and her family. Despite her eldest son dropping out of school in order to support his mother and six siblings, the family continued to struggle without a stable income. The tobacco plants that occupied their two-acre plot demanded labour intensive management and the use of lots of resources for the curing and drying process. Even after all this hard work, Caren could never be certain the tobacco would sell.
“My only prayer is that I get food to eat with my family on a daily basis and be able to take my children to school in a dignified way”
After undergoing farm systems training with Ripple Effect in late 2017, many of the Ohinga Support Group, of which Caren is the chairwoman, found planting raised beds and keyhole gardens tiring particularly as they were not used to doing this before.
In April 2018, however, the situation of Caren and the Ohinga Support group changed drastically. The gardens were providing a higher and greatly improved yield, attracting other members of the community to this system, over the more traditional methods of gardening. Caren has an income for the first time, and is able to provide her family with a healthy, nutritious diet.
“I never knew that I could have vegetables to feed my family around my house. I am very happy and thank Ripple Effect Kenya so much, as the training has given me the knowledge and skills to help me do better vegetable farming for food and income.”
Although Caren and the Ohinga Support group have experienced great successes, water shortages continue to be an issue.