In 1998, Heifer Kenya provided 22 heifers along with training to the Set Kobor Women’s Group in Longisa – a group of 65 visually and physically impaired members. In Kenya, the blind are considered a burden to their families and are looked down upon. This group formed to restore members’ dignity and hope while helping them attain food and income security.
With further support through the East Africa Dairy Development project, the blind women and other community groups formed Sot Dairy Company Ltd., which runs a dairy hub with milk chilling facilities. The company’s board includes one chairperson from the Set Kobor Women group.
Heifer International has helped the group earn respect and enough money to care for their needs. Other organizations, like the Kenya Society for the Blind, help with their mobility.
One member, Florence Chepkirui, says her lifestyle has changed dramatically. She can cook, walk about, and accomplish other household chores on her own like preparing cattle feed and milking. Florence and her husband, Michael Kones, co-own a livestock input business. She is also a model farmer, passing on her skills to fellow villagers to improve their dairy practices. Florence also started her own knitting business. She can knit up to four sweaters a day and she sells them in a small shop.
A gift to Heifer International not only provides livestock and training to lift people out of hunger and poverty, but it gives them the opportunity to pursue their dreams of starting a small business which can provide additional employment opportunities in their community.