A Future Fortified by [Kenya] Women

Adrianna Logalbo – Diplomatic Courier – Friday, 15 March 2013 (originally published 12 Mar)

Anna  with her 4 young children
Image: Adrianna Logalbo

On a recent trip to Kenya, I was fortunate to meet several women who are, in their own ways, combating the urgent yet often hidden problem of malnutrition, and I was reminded once again of the power women have to truly change the world. With support from individuals, partners, and the government, these women are helping their children grow and thrive, creating healthier futures for their families and communities, and nourishing the next generation.

Anna, one of the loveliest women I have ever met, is a perfect example. I met Anna at the Namanga Health Clinic, a health facility in a border town in southern Kenya. With the help of Gladys, an outspoken community health worker whose English far exceeds my Swahili, Anna told me that at 26 years old, she has six children, the youngest of which – Lamayan – is just 9 months old.

Anna spends her days in the local market, selling traditional Massai beaded necklaces. While we are only a short 30 miles from Amboseli National Park, she tells me there isn’t much tourism in the area, making it difficult to sell enough necklaces to earn the 200 Kenyan Shillings she needs every day to buy food like Unga (Ugali flour), Mchele (rice), and Ndizi (bananas). It is normal for Anna and her family to eat a simple meal of porridge in the morning and rice in the evening . . .

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