Agribased Activities for Development

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Widow Support Program

After the death of a husband, a woman is often left vulnerable and open to exploitation. In male dominated societies, the absence of a husband often means insecurity and even family members may take advantage of this. In Africa land is very sensitive and the biggest resource that any family has and in many instances the only source of income for the widow.

It is highly likely that that a widow will easily loose their land to the family members of her late husband under all forms of circumstances including being chased away from her matrimonial home soon after the death of her husband, no wonder some cultures advocate for immediate inheritance of the widow by an immediate brother of her late husband. A UNICEF http://www.unicef.org/publications/files/Africas_Orphaned_and_Vulnerable_Generations_Children_Affected_by_AIDS.pdf report from 2010 indicates that there are at least 115 million widows facing high levels of poverty across the world. Some are subject to physical and emotional abuse. Others are evicted from their homes. Widows are routinely stigmatized and left to fend for themselves.

Because of the clear challenges that these widows are facing HDI has started a unique program to support widows and the grand children often left under their care due to the death of their children to enable them live a "normal" under this circumstances.

By providing them with a dairy goat, the widows will not only get nutritious milk but will be able to sell off the off spring of the goats to earn extra income to sustain them. Goats can give an offspring every three month and a mature goat would sell for averagely USD $200. These goats normally can survive under harsh climatic conditions that dairy cattle would not and require little management as opposed to the cows.

By supporting these widows they are empowered to realize, exercise their rights and freedoms, and access opportunities and privileges aimed at gender equality, we also help them to increase their bargaining power through formation of support groups and encourage them to voice their opinions.

Its costs $200 dollars to buy 1 dairy goat and another $50 dollars to prepare a safe and secure goat shed, provide training and the necessary skills to the widows, food for at least 3 months and artificial insemination for the goat to be able to produce an offspring.