Some weeks back the first shop opened at our Making More Health Center in Webuye, Western Kenya. It is not a big shop, but for sure an important one – as it is also an indicator that people who had no income in the past are starting to do better.
The small supermarket has been set up by one of our volunteers from our local NGO partner. GAASPP. Volunteers are 10 locals who have committed to support our Making More Health activities – they participate in many different types of trainings on health prevention, hygiene, basic business skills, hydroponic farming and roll out the knowledge and activities at a broader level within the communities. They help to develop the MMH center and make sure that our campus is safe and clean.
One of our volunteers has now the responsibility for the first shop. The profits are used to pay for the electricity bills, to buy fuel for the generator in case power goes off during the training sessions – which is frequent.
“We sell basic food stuffs which are mostly used in the MMH house and in the community. African vegetables, special porridge and lunch items”, she explains. “We have also started kitchen gardening in all our people with Albinism homes. Once they harvest more than they need we can sell here… for example maize which once it is harvested will also help to curb the food shortage to our needy person’s with Albinism and also the aged, she adds and smiles.
Some community members also produce bags. At the moment there is no space in the shop to sell. “So we still use one of our training halls as a place to train, store and sell the bags. We aim for a small, 2nd shop. A shop for handmade items…,” says Chrisantus, our local worker.
It’s incredible to believe that only two years back many of these people had not even the basics for a decent life. Many lived “hidden in their huts” because of being people with albinism being victims of violence and crime. Now there is still a lot of issues, poverty and misery. But there has been set up a good basis to grow – and the willingness to learn and to do more has affected so many people in the surroundings, not just our people with albinism.