From the Most Significant Change series comes Truffosa Kivaya, a mother of six children, living in Chukura, Kenya. After the Village Enterprise program, she used her acquired business acumen to save for a solar light, which now enables her to spend more quality time with her family and work longer hours.
Hanging from a thin metal wire from the ceiling of Truffosa Kivaya’s red clay compound is a small light bulb. She points to the bulb and proudly shares, “I bought this solar light with my savings.”
Truffosa’s hands are folded gracefully in her lap as her husband, Samuel Andande, peaks his head around the corner and gives a friendly wave.
She looks down at her hands and says, “I had no access to money and no skills to help me get an income.” As a mother of six children, Truffosa did everything in her power to pay the fees to keep her children in school. But sometimes it wasn’t enough. “They did go to school at times but they also had to return home weeks at a time when money was short.”
Business Mentor Felix Tiony identified Truffosa, along with 30 other individuals in Chukura, Kenya, to participate in the Village Enterprise program. She used the knowledge she acquired through the 3 month training program and the funds from the start-up grant to launch a sheep rearing and tomato selling business with her two business partners.
Truffosa quickly identified additional opportunities to expand her own individual business. She used the profits from her first venture to purchase both chickens and clothes to sell at the local market.
Her hard work and entrepreneurial spirit has certainly paid off. Today, not only can she purchase school supplies and uniforms for her children, but she is also able to afford the tuition for her daughter to attend training college to become a tailor. Truffosa explained how she has also been able to purchase better quality clothing for her retail business, which she can sell at a higher price.
Her husband, Samuel, is also quick to sing her praises. “We can now support each other better. She is the biggest contributor to the household day to day,” Samuel said.
Truffosa exits the sitting room, returning seconds later with a crisp box that previously held the solar light dangling above our heads. From her testimony, it is clear that this light has profoundly altered her daily life. “We have never had electricity. Through Village Enterprise I learned how to save and could buy this light. The light gives me more hours to work and to spend with my family,” she said.