In November 2013, the directors of Okoa decided to partner with the local village and build a community center. The Kayirikiti Village Community Center is constructed on village-owned land and is maintained by the village. Okoa’s willingness to build the Community Center on community owned land created a strong bond between the organization and the community members. The local people have truly seen that Okoa has their best interests in mind and a real heart to help them better their lives. In 2014 Okoa began the construction of another community center. This one is in the market area of Nyendo specifically for people with disabilities to work and sell products in order to make a living for themselves.
As of January 2015, 16 piglets have been given to the families determined to be the most in need and suited for rearing pigs. When the female piglets reach a certain age, they will be studded out with one of Okoa’s male pigs. The family will return one piglet per litter to Okoa for the first two years that the pig produces. This will allow Okoa to keep the project running and provide more families with pigs in the future. The rest of the piglets will be for the family to raise and sell for a large profit. Current pig count is 15 adults pigs and 113 piglets.
“With the piggery project I hope to pay off school fees for my children, finish building our house and be able to sustain our family development.”
Bead and Craft Making
Women are some of the most vulnerable people in the village. Within the village, women are often married at young ages and refused the chance to pursue an education. They are left with no knowledge or skills to support themselves or their children. Men regularly find new wives, leaving the first wife as the sole provider for the children. With no education and no training, they are left barely able to make ends meet. A simple and fun trade to teach them is how to make beads, jewelry, and crafts. During the classes, women are also taught life skills and Bible stories.
“I have been able to start-up and maintain a retail shop from the money that I have been able to save from making jewelry from recycled paper beads, a skill I got from Okoa Refuge”
In addition to the income that this project will generate for the 40 families involved, one of the most exciting effects of this outreach are the relationships that are being developed between members of the village. Families are joining together, sharing gardening space on their land, and supporting each other in growing one of five chosen crops. With training from local leaders and officials and strategic planning and marketing, we hope that the agriculture project will help support families through additional nutrition and income.
“I have developed a good relationship with some of my village members which was very hard to do before. But because of the gatherings we have, everyone has been able to share their own stories and it feels good that there are some other people who have the same stories as mine.”
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