This is a photo of Benta, one of the members of our women’s program.
Benta is a mother of nine children and a grandmother to four. She is the first wife of Akuno, who currently has two spouses. Her oldest three daughters married when they were children; their culture readily chooses marriage for a fourth grade girl over an education. Benta has taken her daughters and grandchildren into her home since their husbands cannot support them. Akuno is unfaithful, but he ignores Benta’s pleas. So every six months, Benta goes to an HIV clinic and waits for the result; still negative, though she believes it is only a matter of time until she tests positive for HIV. Akuno doesn’t see the connection between his unfaithfulness and the costly potential; his personal actions have thus far gone without consequence.
Benta’s story is just one of many: women & girls are often the most vulnerable members of our community. We make sure to take special care of them.
For girls in school, we provide reusable sanitary pads so that they don’t have to miss a week of school each month. We also get them involved in our girls club, a space for girls to receive support and talk about the daily challenges of their lives.
But we don’t forget our women and girls who have had to leave school or never got to go.
Women can join trade skills and job training classes like tailoring, jewelry making or computer skills, to be able to work and support their families. We have also had opportunities like growing cooperatives, where women sell their grown goods at a market together, and village savings and lending programs to help them save their money.