Justine Mapendo, 32, a mother of 2 residing in Kanyatsi village, locality of Rubare, moved in from Bweza with her family during the war in 2014 whose effects made life unbearable forcing her and her family to seek refuge elsewhere.
‘I have been facing a lot of challenges in fending for my family. Paying rent has not been easy and my children suffer malnutrition since I am unable to provide balanced diet to them’.
Her husband does not have a stable job and has not been able to support her in providing for the family.
‘‘He had sought to join the military but upon considering the risks associated with the army, I pleaded that he stays at home as I will go out and fend for all of us’’.
Justine takes risks in trying to provide for her family. She has had to risk getting into the forest many times to try and get food.
‘It is risky and many have been raped by the rebels as they tried getting food from the forest for their families … if they had a choice, they would not be facing such risks’, she says as she stares at the setting sun.
Her family went through the food score analysis under the project and the assessment saw them enrolled onto the project and they have since benefited from interventions under the Result 1 and Result 2 of the project. Her family has since received farming tools, food crop and vegetable seeds besides 5 guinea pigs, all meant to complete her family nutrition.
‘Now I have an opportunity to provide for my family by ensuring the guinea pigs multiply so we are assured of protein supply in our meals. Further, my community does not allow women to slaughter animals like goats, but with this, I can now decide when to slaughter and prepare a meal for the family as the culture does not admonish us for slaughtering guinea pigs’, says Justine.
She belongs to the local group of Kanyatsi villagers who go for learning sessions at the demonstration farm on selected days of the week.
‘The education I have so far received from the farm has helped me in tending to my farm. I expect bumper harvest at the end of this season and greatly appreciate the efforts ActionAid and its field teams have been doing to change our lives’.