Nancy was born and raised in a Kenyan village known as “gold.” The village stood along the Lodwar Kakuma road, where the occupants mined, you guessed it, gold. Despite living in what sounds like a lucrative community, Nancy’s family was poor.
They were so poor that she had to drop out of school because her parents couldn’t afford the fees.
With little hope of furthering her education, Nancy did what other young women in her situation did. She got married.
Now 27 years old and a mother of two, Nancy lives in a village neighboring the Natoot Farm in Turkana. The farm is a joint project between Bright Hope, a partner church, and hardworking community members. Nancy was one of 78 local Kenyans who was chosen to be trained in farming in Turkana and then have the opportunity to farm part of the land, which would be a source of income to her. People were chosen based on their need and likelihood to succeed. Her life was about to change.
“After dropping out of school with no skills, I got married. I was just a housewife, and although my husband was unemployed, we still depended on him to provide. When he didn’t get work, we would sleep on empty stomachs. But our children, at their age, didn’t understand,” Nancy said.
“It was so painful to have my children cry all night for food I couldn’t provide.”
“I never imagined that… I could become a farmer. But this farm has performed miracles in my life, and especially for my family,” she said.
Being a hard-working tomato farmer has paid off for Nancy. The money she earns selling her crops has changed her life. Her broad smile is confirmation that her life has taken a new turn.
“When friends and church members used to visit my place, I felt ashamed because I didn’t have chairs for them to sit on. But after three months of farming, I am no longer ashamed. I bought a sofa set where my visitors can sit comfortably. Now I also have a place to sit while eating or discussing family matters with my husband,” she said.
Although the farm has been under attack by crop-destroying locusts, Nancy is determined to transform her life and give her children a better future.
Unlike other villagers, she no longer waits for the chief’s announcement about the next delivery of government relief food.
She no longer sleeps with one ear open, should a vehicle pass at night that may be bringing relief food rations.
“From the time I began farming, our teachers have been encouraging us to work hard for better results. When I had my first harvest, my eyes opened, and I realized that God had sent this project into our village to redeem us. When I got my first earnings from the farm produce, I removed myself from the group of people that wait for the government to send trucks of relief food for them.”
The hunger pains that were once a constant companion are now a thing of the past. Nancy is a successful tomato farmer at the Natoot Farm, and her life is forever changed.
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