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Kenya: Ogichoya's Story

Photojournal of a single mother in Kenya.

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Kenya: Ogichoya's Story

  1. 1. Ogichoya's Story Photojournal of a single mother in Kenya
  2. 2. “ When I became pregnant at 17, there was a lot of pressure from my community to get rid of the baby because I was not married. None of the villagers here would talk to me then. I felt bad, I was really down and depressed when they rejected me like that. I felt like I was no longer a human being. I was so ashamed of myself.”
  3. 3. “ I did not want to get rid of the baby. Women from a local group came to help me. They assisted me in putting up my hut, they collected sacks and boxes to cover the frame to build it. They bought me cooking pots and cups. When I gave birth they supported me and brought clothes for my baby.”
  4. 4. “ In the past, single mothers have had no way of supporting themselves but the women’s group helped me to start up my own business selling tea, sugar and batteries. That’s when people started to accept me and to buy a few things from me.”
  5. 5. “ I learnt how to manage my business at a workshop run by a local Catholic organisation, the Diocese of Marsabit. As well as the workshops, I meet with other young mothers every week and we talk about our work, share ideas and help each other with our problems.”
  6. 6. “ I sell the goods from my hut. I use any profit I make to buy more stock as well as food and clothes for the family. I buy maize which I grind at the mill and use it to feed my family. And if I want to make myself beautiful I buy beads to make into necklaces.”
  7. 7. “ Life here is hard for women. We have to fetch water and firewood, cook, make milk gourds, build the huts, milk the goats. Women do more work than men. Even if a man slaughters a camel, he just kills it but then the women have to skin it and prepare it for eating.”
  8. 8. “ My parents have two camels and 50 goats but they lost 100 goats and four camels during the drought last year. Through my business I was able to support them. What I was earning was not enough but it helped. If I can continue with my business I think it will really help if there is drought again.”
  9. 9. “ People have changed their attitude towards girls like me because we are supported by the women’s group. Through running my business I have become a role model in this village. Now I am happy, I am healthy and I have a son, Hilary, who I really love. Things are changing and women have taken a step. We are now in a better position, not like before.”
  10. 10. Photo credits Georgina Cranston For more info, please see