We Bavarian rural women were very happy about the news that a delegation of the Agriculture Committee of the German Bundestag would like to visit our project on site during their trip to Kenya. It is very important to us to support rural women in Kenya to build a self-determined and dignified life for themselves. At the end of October, the time had come. In Nairobi, the delegates met Ms Daphne Muchai, the Managing Director of WoFaAK, at a meeting in the GIZ offices.
Daphne Muchai (fourth from left) with the German politicians and representatives of GIZ in Nairobi.
In order to learn about our work and progress in the development of the Kenyan rural women's association WoFaAK, the delegation visited the farm of Phasilia Mbone in Kakamega County on Sunday morning. Phassi is the chairperson of the self-help group WOPLAH*, which in turn has been a member of WoFaAK since 2018.
*WOPLAH was founded in 2008 in Mumias, Kenya, by eleven community leaders. Together they recognised the need in their community for equal access to HIV/AIDS counselling and testing, health education and economic support. Members work to reduce stigma against people infected with HIV/AIDS and their families through support groups, community dialogues and income generation.
Phassi proudly showed her farm and answered many questions from the attentive German guests.
In fish ponds, she breeds catfish and tilapia (perch) for sale.
The home garden - in the foreground Kale, a cabbage plant from which spinach-like vegetables are cooked.
Ms Susanne Mittag, Spokesperson of the Working Group on Food and Agriculture, Armin Klöckner, GIZ and Daniel Günther, German Embassy Nairobi.
This is "Diamond", Phassy's cow.
In the shade of a tall palm tree, we presented our project, the WoFaAK and, representing a member group of the WoFaAK, the Woplah. This is Phassy's group that aims to support HIV-infected people through improved nutrition and income generation.
Some members were present and Phassy said: "Look at them, as they present them today, well fed and healthy. Through the training of BBV-LIZ they became what they are today".
Rita Hagl-Kehl, Susanne Winkler, Project Manager Angelika Eberl framed by rural women. Florence Omutimba (far right), WoFaAK regional representative for Western Kenya, appealed to the delegation at government level to improve the framework conditions for rural women here in Kenya:
"With the help of the Bavarian rural women, we founded our Kenyan rural women's umbrella organisation WoFaAK in 2017. We are lobbying and educating our members - the successes of our project are there. Nevertheless, we need support for our concerns at the political level.
Politics must set the framework to improve the situation of women. The Bavarian rural women and we have worked out some demands to the politicians in a constant exchange.
We would like our/the German government to support the Kenyan government in the following points:
Women play the key role in feeding and caring for the families and thus the entire population.
We therefore demand the improvement of working conditions for women through the further development of infrastructure (roads, electricity, water, communication).
We want facilitated access to vocational training, improvement of agricultural training centres, access to credit for women.
We need easier access to land, as well as support for Kenyan artisan enterprises that process agricultural products (creates jobs and utilises perishable products that would otherwise rot for lack of suitable storage facilities).
We want the government to work for more equality between men and women.
All these measures will give women of all ages a perspective to act and live actively in their own country."
Helmut Färber, head of the delegation presents Phassy a Berlin Bear, a small souvenir from Germany.
He said: "You notice immediately that this farm is run by a woman. Everything is very well thought out, clean and well organised".
At the end - as always - a group picture.