During our last Salt visit to Agai Community we were impressed by the strengths the community has. In most cases when we go out for such visits we assume the community will ask for handouts from us. This is not the case in that community.
From one of our community conversations 1 support group of PLWA’s had a story to share with us and others across the country and the world. The story of the Kitchen Garden. The group has introduced Kitchen Gardens for their members. Through small contributions they buy vegetables, tomatoes, and onions seeds which each member is given to plant. They plough the small gardens for members in turns. The vegetables are sold at Sondu market in exchange of sugar, or unga. They also use vegetables to feed their families. Anybody who goes to borrow for vegetables from her neighbour is given for the first time. The next day the Kitchen Garden is transferred to her home (that the most interesting part). “when you keep depending on people to give you; you become lazy and will live/die in poverty” a woman was heard saying.
According to Luo culture when a man dies the widow must be inherited with a member of the family. But with increase of HIV/AIDs the widows are forming support groups for advocacy against wife inheritance. The group started with 10 members in Sondu community and has increased to 30 and is transferring to other neighbouring communities very fast. During their meetings they receive friends from other communities who come to learn and transfer. The women are staying within the community, in their homes. One of the lessons learnt is that “you don’t have to remarry for life to continue; there are other better ways of earning a living hence our being together”. Says the leader of the group.
Apart from Kitchen Garden, the group meets once week to share challenges as widows and what motivate them to stay together. They learn how to become responsible and take care of their children and say NO to wife inheritance.