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An elderly widow receives a pack of food relief from Dr. Andre Patrice Carter after a lunch meeting with the project beneficiaries
The plight of widows and orphans has been dire in Kenya’s Homa-Bay County along the shores of Lake Victoria where HIV/AIDS has intensely ravaged the community, leaving hundreds of widows and orphans suffering.

The widows suffer majorly at the hand of their in-laws, robbing them of the opportunity to access factors of production like land. This makes widows and orphans extremely vulnerable since some even lack homes/houses to live; thus, failing to play an active role in supporting their livelihood and furthering economic development within the Nile Basin.

Health and Environmental Media Network (HEMNet) – a member of NBD’s Kenya National Discourse Forum in partnered with a local Community Based Organization to support the vulnerable widows and orphans; donating land for constructing houses/homes for the widows and their dependants to live in peace, and manage their affairs without being intimidated.

Distributing food relief to project beneficiaries
Distributing food relief to project beneficiaries
The project titled Improving the Socio-Economic Wellbeing of The Vulnerable Widows and Orphans is being implemented in Gogo Kosiemo Village, Kanyasa ward, Nyatike Constituency, Homa-Bay County. The project is generously sponsored by Dr. Andre Patrice Carter of the Andre Patrice Carter Foundation, USA; providing funds for the construction of the homes and other social support like food.

The project has so far constructed a total of four (4) residential houses - each comprising two units, a multi-purpose hall, a pharmacy, store, clinic and ablution block. From the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the donor has been giving foodstuffs to the widows and orphans.

The project has also moved electricity powerlines nearer to the community which has greatly improved quality of life in the area. In future, the development partner intends to improve on a currently dilapidated primary school neighbouring the project.

The beneficiaries are happy with the project and hope for its continuity to make them live decent lives. The project aims at reducing poverty within the Nile Basin since without proper shelter, the widows are not able to be productive in the community. Once they have their peace, they can engage in economically viable ventures to generate income.

Projecting on the future, the project has the potential of opening up more opportunities that will have an impact on the rural village's local economy.

The vision bearers of the project have a dream of turning the area into a small town where jobs and services will be available for the local community rather than travelling to seek jobs and services elsewhere beyond the village.


Video Credit: Migori News (www.migorinews.co.ke)


Author:
Joseph Ngome
Health and Environmental Media Network (HEMNet)
Kenya NDF

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