My name is Alice Katiwa Mwiza, I am 45 years old and I come from Kayafungo ward in Kaloleni Sub County, Kilifi County. I joined GROOTS Kenya in 2012 after being mapped under the leadership & governance and food security projects. Before this, I was running a small food kiosk which only operated on Fridays and on ‘market days’. However, after joining GROOTS Kenya, I was challenged to become more actively involved in my community’s affairs.

After numerous trainings and capacity building by GROOTS Kenya, I was able to articulate the needs of my community and demand solutions to our problems from the relevant duty bearers. More people noticed my leadership and I have so far been appointed to sit on numerous boards of management of local institutions, spaces where I am able to influence positive change.

GROOTS Kenya trained the women in my community on resilient food practices and we realized that we did not always have to buy, borrow or receive food aid. Hundreds of households now have kitchen gardens, poultry and women have learnt to make use of various organic food preservation technologies. Most of the women in the GROOTS Kenya movement in the region have food security despite Kilifi being a semi arid area. We have also participated in numerous peer exchanges with women from other regions which has given us a lot of exposure.

There has been a complete lifestyle change in my community; household relations have improved greatly as women are now making key decisions in their home and more of them have been appointed/elected into leadership as the men seem to gradually embrace women’s leadership.

GROOTS Kenya stays on in a region long after a project ends to make sure that they have empowered as many women as they can in the area. They do not discriminate against any woman, literate or not. I hope to see GROOTS Kenya reach all 47 counties in Kenya so that thousands more women are empowered.

Thank you GROOTS Kenya for nurturing me.

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