International Development: Hope and Ambition Thrive in North-West Kenya

published on 27 Mar 2015

In the north-west of Kenya, lies Turkana, the poorest county in the country, with 95% of the population living below the poverty line.

The dry and erratic climate causes many problems with accessing food and water, while its remoteness means there is a lack of education and health provisions. The Salvation Army is working to address all of these issues through an ambitious project looking to improve access to clean water and safe sanitation, train communities on the use of drought-resistant crops and how to minimise their water use. Alongside all of this we will be helping to improve people’s livelihood through training, livestock provision and the creation of savings groups.

Leah Lopua is a mother of 11 children and the chairperson of her local savings group in the small village of Nanam in Lokichoggio. Leah was elected because of her evident leadership skills in the village. She leads a group of 40 women who meet weekly. From the pool of money kept in a metal box with three padlocks, the group members can borrow small loans. Using the loans, most of the women are engaging in livestock businesses, grocery and bead making.

Leah says, ‘We joined the group since life was very difficult for each of us. We decided we needed to support one another.’ She continues to say that the women now are able to afford to purchase food for their families and do not rely on outsiders’ help. They can also provide school fees for their children.

Leah is very hopeful that the women in her group will continue to overcome poverty and support their families.

1.2 billion people around the world are living extreme poverty. This means they must survive on the equivalent of £1 a day. You can stand beside them this April by taking the Live Below the Line challenge to raise awareness and funds to help tackle this injustice.