“I decided to go and hear for myself what these people had brought for us, I convinced my husband and we went together,” Elina remarked reflectively.
Through the One Community training sessions, they received HIV education, which prompted them to go for HIV testing services. They also were introduced to gender norm discussions based on real-life stories of community members who challenged negative social norms, stopped abusing alcohol and became inspirational figures in their communities.
“The sessions were truly a turning point for my husband and I. My husband stopped drinking and has now taken a more active role in assisting me with our farm,” Elina explains. “With both our effort, we are able to produce more and contribute towards our household’s needs.”
Elina’s relationship with One Community has continued to blossom. She has joined a local VSL group, where she has been saving profits from their farm. In April 2017, she secured a MK 10,000 (USD 13.60) loan and started a donut selling business; she also invested in growing vegetables for sale. From her ventures, she makes on average MK 2,000 (USD 2.30) a day; and because of this, she was able to repay her loan by mid-June. In early July, she got another loan, which she used to buy a goat. Her hopes are that she can breed more goats and later on sell the meat.
“We now make better decisions together. I am also proud to see Elina confidently pursue her businesses. From her undertakings, she has been able to provide the household with groceries, such as salt, sugar, and cooking oil. She also contributes towards our children’s school fees,” Elina’s husband shared proudly.