Find out how kitchen gardens have helped people living with HIV/AIDS in western Kenya.
One of Action on Poverty’s programmes in Kenya builds on the successful partnership we have with our local partner REEP, focusing on improving food and livelihoods security of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in western Kenya.
One key aspect of the project is providing training to PLWHA to help them set up and manage kitchen gardens, which can have a significant impact on improving nutrition and providing a source of income.
People are also provided with enterprise skills training, focusing on how to increase sales, reduce costs and maximise their profit margins. In addition, being key producers of local fruit and vegetables within the local area in which they live, PLWHA have gained respect within the community and this has helped reduce stigma and associated discrimination.
Phoebe Taaka is a widow with five children. When her husband died she did not get tested for HIV/AIDS until her health deteriorated, and when she tested positive, she went into denial. However she came across a community outreach organised by REEP and joined a peer support group, from which she gained the energy and the courage to move on for the sake of her children.
Phoebe participated in skills training for food security and enterprise with her support group. The training had a major impact and she started looking at life from a different perspective. She started working on her small piece of land growing vegetables for subsistence purposes and selling the excess for a small income. She started selling onions and tomatos at her local village market.
Through the enterprise skills training she learnt aspects of customer care, marketing, record keeping and value addition and how this could help improve her business. Today, Phoebe Taaka’s average monthly profit is KES 6,000 (£37.50). She is now able to meet her household needs, pay for her children’s education and save a little for the future.