THIRTY FIVE Friesian cows were distributed among four women cooperatives in Nyanza District during the International Women’s Day celebrations on March 8, 2011.
‘Mpore dukunde inzuki’ literally translated as ‘let’s love bees’ is a women cooperative of 48 members.
The members of this cooperative are victims of Gender based violence (GBV).
At least each member of the cooperative takes care of 3-9 children from their broken marriages as a result of domestic abuse.
The cooperative was given 10 cows as a way of strengthening the financial status of its members and families.
The event, which was presided over by the Minister of Agriculture, Agnes Kalibata, saw another cooperative bringing together women infected with HIV receive cows as part of the centenary celebrations of the Women’s Day.
Other beneficiaries of the cows that were donated by ActionAid were two women farmers’ cooperatives also in the area.
“The role of women in national building is not only farming or getting a pen to write but to responsibly raise children to become better citizens. Children are the future generation,” Kalibata explained, saying that the donation will help the women provide for their children.
According to Marie Grace Mukashema, a member of the GBV victims’ cooperative, the cows will cater for their needs.
“With the milk production, nutrition of our children will be improved as well as our financial sustainability. As a cooperative, each member will always put aside two litres of milk daily and if sold, the money will be saved in the cooperative’s account,” Mukashema disclosed.
She added that the money collected will be used to help the cooperative in other business ventures.
Josephine Uwamariya, the Country Director of ActionAid said: “The donation of the cows is in the spirit of supporting poverty eradication among women. It’s one step through which women will gain economic independence and financially meet their needs.”
Five primary schools in the area also received cows as a way of fighting malnutrition among pupils.