Monique Kunda, 65, is a widow. Following the loss of her husband, she has been the principle bread-winner of the family, responsible for seven children and five grandchildren.
“The children did not study because we could not afford the school fees. In 1990 I decided to become a maraichère to provide for my family. But it is not very profitable and I barely make enough money to feed the family.” Monique is part of a group of maraichère(market gardeners) working on the Bolingo site in Kisenso. This group recently received improved vegetable seeds from the project, as well as some basic agricultural equipment including wellington boots and a hoe.
“This is the first time an NGO has thought of me, to improve my working conditions. With the new boots I am no longer bitten by ants. I am very grateful.”
On her allotment, Monique cultivates different vegetables according to the season. When the vegetables are ready to be sold, one of her daughters takes them to the market to sell them. “My children do what they can to help, but without any education, life is very difficult.'
In the rainy season, Monique can make from $ 11 to 16 per vegetable bed. In the dry season, however, the harvest is poor and the price plummets to $6-7.
“We never know how to manage in the dry season. We thank God that ActionAid is providing us with training in market gardening and animal husbandry, and helping us to better manage our productions. I bless ActionAid for it.”