It has been almost two months since FT8 members made Kuria district home. As the rainy season gives way to the dry season most of Kuria is moving to gray from its usual green scene.  Everywhere in the district farmers are busy harvesting maize and other products. Business is hot and one can observe maize and beans being traded in every corner of small towns in the district.

One of the busiest farmers at this time of the year is Maria Mwita.  Maria is a dedicated Nuru farmer living in Ihore sub-location. She has an interesting life story and inspirational dream and dedication to escaping out of extreme poverty. It is my honor to walk with you through this life story.

Maria is a 36 year old mother of 10 children. Besides her 10 children she is also taking care of an additional 4 children those belonging to her ailing sister in the neighbouring Tanzania. Though she is married, her husband is an absentee father. Because of her husband’s long time absence, she is responsible for feeding this large family of 14 children. She relies on only 3 acres of land to feed this whole brood. She is the only farmer, food provider and caregiver of the family. Her children support her some of the time but she does both the farming and domestic work.

Though life is hard Maria never gives up hope. She is always smiling and is always in good spirits. It is wonderful to see her happy while leading the challenge of taking care of a family of 14 children with this small plot of land with little or no support.

Maria told me that she has had many different challenges in life. She knows that she needs to get additional income to get food on the table for the children. She has tried different income generating activities in the past. But has never been successful because she needed to be at home to breastfeed her children.

Maria feels that her life is going to be changing for good, after she joined Nuru one year ago her harvest increased significantly. She got enough maize to feed the family for the first time and even sold the surplus. She used the money from the sale of the surplus to purchase additional plough oxen. She started saving with CED and owned a savings account for the first time in her life. Though her savings are still relatively tiny, she is learning the benefit of saving.

She is grateful to Nuru for giving her the chance to get a better farming income and the opportunity to save. She hopes that she will save enough to be able to apply for the CED Mwak loan amount that she needs for her side business of selling fish at the local market I am optimistic for Maria, her dreams will come true with the little help and support that Nuru can offer.

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