A burgeoning population, years of both crippling drought and flooding, environmental degradation and the fall out of the HIV/AIDS epidemic have left many Kenyans struggling to survive.
Over 79% of Kenya's population are farmers or raise animals for their income; the vast majority of these are so poor, they can't meet their daily nutritional requirements. Without enough food, many families, and especially women and children, succumb to water-borne diseases, malaria and malnutrition. Rural women are particularly vulnerable, as they don't have equal access to social and economic assets.
Where are we working?
In northern Kenya, the problems of rural poverty are especially pronounced. That's why VWB/VSF is working in northern Kenya, to give women, children, families and the animals they raise a chance at a better life.
Small Steps to Great Solutions
The difference between abject poverty and a reasonable livelihood can be as simple as a single dairy cow. With income from milk, families can afford school fees for children, improve nutrition and health care for both their families and their livestock and climb out of the spiral of poverty that grips so many rural Kenyans.
In collaboration with Farmers Helping Farmers and the University of Prince Edward Island, VWB/VSF is helping improve dairy cow health care and nutrition for small holder farmers. In the Mukurweini area of Kenya, farmers sell miilk to the Wakulima Dairy. Volunteers from all three Canadian groups provide volunteer vets to help train village members, and particularly women, to better care for their cows, which are an integral source of income for many families in the area.
Dairy cows also improve the status of women in villages, as they allow women to earn family income, better nourish themselves and their children and participate in community decision-making councils.