Category: Gender empowerment

Category: Gender empowerment

Conservation agriculture amidst the pandemic

According to the UN Report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the world, 60 million more people are hungry today then there were five years ago. Three billion men, women and children cannot afford enough healthy food to eat and now the global pandemic has threatened the right to food for so many people.

We caught up with one of our beneficiaries, Serah (40yrs) who is a member of Tethya Musyi VSL from Nguumo ward, Muuni sublocation Kabarani village. She joined the CA project in March 2020 after Fadhili started a food security project beginning of 2020. The sole purpose of this project is to mitigate the challenges of drought in dry areas through using conservation agriculture. This is an intervention that lays emphasis on minimum tillage, increased soil cover and crop rotation.

Serah was facing a few frustrations with regards to agriculture production before joining the project. She experienced low yield due and environmental de-gradation to lack of knowledge of good agricultural practices due to no agricultural officers’ intervention. Another factor was poor rainfall as she resides in a semi-arid region. After joining the project, she learnt ways of helping her increase her yields which ensured she has enough food and the eat required number of meals a day. She also gained the knowledge needed for good agricultural practices that helps her on improving soil fertility in her farm which in turn reduces the cost of farm inputs especially agro-chemicals.

Serah and her husband appreciating CA farming including intercropping and mulching principles

Having the fear of contracting COVID- 19 through social interactions and gatherings, the groups had to reduce their attendance in farmers trainings due to interruptions from Covid related issues and government containment directives. Schools closure also forced some parents to attend to their parental household roles and responsibilities hence missing training sessions. “Since some participants lost their jobs and casual labor, they had to look for alternative ways of getting income hence reduced participation.’’ notes Serah.

The primary purpose of Fadhili is to provide simple savings and loans facilities in and by the communities that do not have access to formal financial services. By working with us, Serah has benefited through phone calls and messages, farm visits and follow ups advice and due to the pandemic, she has had few farmers meetings and being trained. The organization has also provided buckets, hand washing soap and face mask to the project protect the farmers. We achieve this by ensuring and complying with social gathering activities government directives on Covid 19 

Women’s economic empowerment through VSL project

Financial inclusion is an important factor for improving women’s economic empowerment, fighting poverty and promoting sustainable development. But women living in poverty, and other marginalised groups in Kenya, witness on all hinders they face on accessing the financial systems.  Fadhili Trust seeks to provide simple savings and loans facilities in and by the communities that do not have access to formal financial services. This helps the community to diversify their livelihood sources in order to meet their social, health and economic needs.

Agnes Kithuka from Uthasyo VSL group joined the VSL project in February 2019. She is a 59-year-old mother from Nguumo Ward, Kaunguni sub-location. Before joining the project, Agnes used to save with a micro-finance where she lost all her savings after guaranteeing a member a loan who defaulted his loan. All her savings were retained for repayment of the loan.

She then went seeking for a VSL project that will help her to save and borrow in a structured, flexible and affordable terms with minimal risk in order to start a small business (IGA).Her main motivation was saving for her children school fees. Our organization through the VSL groups offered just that and more.

To date, she has managed to save and borrowed her first loan of five thousand shillings (KES 5,000) and bought a goat for breeding and two chicken which have already multiplied leading her to start a poultry keeping IGA. Her children school fees have never been late in terms of payment, and she owns more than ten goats and a good number of chickens.

Agnes tending to her goats and monitoring them which is part of her IGA


Farmers have been greatly affected by the covid 19 pandemic. The government-imposed Lockdowns and curfews have disrupted both demand and supply of the agricultural product due to market inaccessibility. Women farmers are agents of change and critical players in the food production system. However, they continue to bear the brunt of the pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 has devasted their role in the agricultural value chains. They struggle to access agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, farm equipment, and seeds and markets for their produce. This is the case for Agnes Kithuka and other women.

Due to the pandemic, her VSL group meetings were suspended and saving activities interrupted. Before the pandemic, she used to sell some of her goats at the marketplace, but that business was put on hold as there were no customers due to the market closure.

By working with our organization, Agnes and her VSL members have started saving using daily slot method since they did not hold physical group meetings as the government measures had banned all forms of social gatherings. The group continued with daily slots saving in order to give every member the opportunity to save at the box keeper’s homestead until the measures were a bit relaxed.Fadhili provided buckets, hand washing soap and face mask to the project farmers

Gender and Women Empowerment

The empowerment of women is of paramount importance in gender equality. It is aimed at bringing out the full potential in women while promoting their self worth.  

Women are an important pillar in matters of community development and the well being of families. In line with Sustainable Development Goal # 5, Fadhili promotes inclusivity of women both at the family and community level. Both men and women are involved in creating dialogues that enhance communication, promote balanced workload and conflict resolution. Fadhili is focused on Strengthening women leadership and decision-making skills as well as their participation in development activities.