By Marion Ndeta, Women Arise Collective Representative Nairobi, Kenya
My friends and I had a catch up time this past weekend. Family, work, and of course sharing about the impact of COVID19 came up. One shared how their employer just informed them that some will be sent home on unpaid leave. Yes, you read it right. Stay home indefinitely without any pay, while those who remain will earn only up to 70% of their usual pay. My heart sunk. It grieved from within. I imagined those who are their extended family’s sole breadwinner. You know, here in Kenya, we live in extensions. At least this is true for most of us. We belong to each other, somehow. So one salary can be educating, feeding and rearing three or even five other families. This is not to mean that we earn loads of money. No, we cramp up our needs in the little that is otherwise much. Now, imagine having completely nothing!
I have been thinking, and now I am certain, my little and your little put together will go a long way. I will sell household merchandise for a little profit and rent pieces of land to grow and harvest products for sale. The projected profit will enable continuing the work of humanitarian communication with and out of love. In addition, I hopefully can be able to take care of my day to day needs.
My friends and I agreed that this unprecedented time calls for extraordinary strategies to make do and live through. We have to think of lawful and godly means and ways to earn a decent living. These are times that only the agile will survive. Going by the number of mental health issues and the violence being reported, it’s clear many are already overwhelmed. We are walking on eggshells. We need each other, we need to think not even outside the box but way beyond. The pandemic is teaching us to think beyond the horizon. My “beyond the horizon” is the selling of merchandise – towels, bed linen and even farming. Both in the short, medium and long term. Faith will walk us through. Faith in action will see us achieve the dream.
I invite you to take the journey with me. Let us one more time be the hand of God extended. We speak love! We share love! We make the world a better place for all of us because the sun will definitely shine again.
A grant of $500 will provide Marion with the funding needed for her local business. Register for the Women Arise Virtual 5k now to help!