CBM is committed to addressing poverty through projects that help families become confident in their ability to either produce or earn enough money to purchase the amount of food necessary for a healthy and active life, as well as cover family expenses for basic needs like health care, school, housing, etc.
In Kenya, a CBM project based on a Self-Help Group approach is enhancing the sustainable well-being of vulnerable households (especially among refugee families). It’s a holistic intervention that leads to social, economic and spiritual empowerment. The project offers scholarships for vulnerable children, skills training, matching business grants for micro enterprise startups, sack garden training, water filter distribution and training, and strengthens existing Self-Help Groups in some of the major urban slum areas of Nairobi (Eastleigh, Huruma and Kariobangi). The project encourages effective approaches to Muslim and Christian dialogue and approaches to ministry.
Meet Naomi and her most favourite person in the world, her mom. They live all the way over in Kenya. Let’s hear her story.
My family is big – I have eight brothers and sisters. Poor mom! That’s a lot of people to feed all by herself. There are also two girls that mom has taken in. She felt sorry to see that they had no family to care for them.
We live in a poor, crowded area of the big city of Nairobi. It is a very unhealthy place. Open sewers and burst sewage pipes cause human waste and garbage to flow down the alleys. Many people are sick a lot especially in the rainy season when there is lots of flooding. Most families are too poor and can’t afford to go to the doctor or to get medicine. Clean water is another problem. Most of the water taps are broken. With so many challenges, people can feel hopeless and depressed. There is a lot of crime and many people use drugs. Mom worries about us. She knows that we see these dangers on our way to school.
I am so proud of mom. She works very hard to earn money for food and rent. But not much is left to pay for all of us to go to school. I couldn’t believe it when mom got a scholarship to help me go to school. It was from a group (self-help group) she belongs to. Mom says that she is so proud of us, her children; that we give her a reason to get up and work every day.
Mom’s group is amazing. They also gave us a water filter. Now we have clean, fresh water to drink. Before we were always getting sick and missing school. Her group is also learning many things, like how to start and grow a business. Mom cooks anjera, it’s one of our favourite foods. She also grinds coffee to sell. She is so happy that she can now also get small loans from the group with low interest. She says that this will keep her business running. Mom really likes her group. She says that they really help her to stay encouraged and that she has people who she trusts to save money together. She dreams of one day buying a small house for us and seeing all of her children graduate from school.