Kenyan Girl Looking out Window

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Land Rights Matter

“I give freely from my store to the children in my community but if they make it a habit, I will give them a job.”

How Maggie found the strength to keep going is a miracle. After the death of her father, it seemed every day brought another hardship. First, it was simply getting enough to eat. Soon, her four siblings stopped attending school. Then the family’s shelter collapsed and an uncle took their ancestral land. No one was able to assist them as they spiraled downward. Living in a “house” they constructed from tattered cloth and working for nominal wages they merely existed.

Fortunately, those days are behind her, and Maggie offers this advice to those who want to help others: “Do not focus on our poverty but focus on our future.”

This is ZOE’s approach. First, guide the children to create a vision of their future and then provide tangible support so that vision becomes a reality.

ZOE taught Maggie about her land inheritance rights and helped her regain ownership of her property. She has learned the power of sharing her blessings and now employs a widow to help farm the land.  She also raises pigs, chickens and rabbits.    With supplies from Zoe Empowers and help from her working group, Maggie constructed a new home. By the end of her second year, she had three businesses: a barbershop, a salon and a grocery stand.  This enables her to employ several young people from her community. Her siblings have returned to school and one sister will soon attend university.

Maggie is grateful for the resources and training, but she reflects, “The biggest thing the Zoe Empowers program has given me is respect and confidence.” Assets she will never lack again.