I decided to give it a try

I decided to give it a try

When the effects of COVID-19 were ravaging the country, the life of community health volunteer Matabel seemed to have hit the rock bottom. An unexpected call four months ago changed everything. “I decided to give it a try.”

In state of despair

“The project which had been provided stipends for me and many other community health volunteers had phased out. The small business I was running had closed down due to the curfew that had been put in place to curb the spread of COVID. It left me in a state of despair. I resolved to concentrate on my farm but the weather seemed to have conspired to worsen my situation. There had been inadequate rainfall with most crops drying in the fields.”

Matabel carrying her product box Matabel carrying her product box

Invited for recruitment meeting

“A call from my health worker four months ago gave me a ray of hope. I was invited for a recruitment meeting for community health entrepreneurs. After attending I decided to give it a try. What I liked was that the products were being given on loan. At the same time I could get orders at the closest distribution point. Having been in other businesses, I knew what to expect. Four months down the line, I wish I had been selected earlier!”

Determined to make it big

“I’m now able to pay my monthly loan faithfully and make orders to restock my business while I’m left with some money to meet other expenses. One of the major ones being my son’s daily upkeep in college which I fulfill from the business profits.

As a healthy entrepreneur I can better serve my community, due to my many years of service as a community health volunteer as well as my earlier business experience. I’m determined to make it big and take the challenges as normal. My future plans are to enroll in college so as to get a certificate that will allow me to get a license to open a pharmacy.

My advice to other community health entrepreneurs? Take the project as your initiative and make a commitment to succeed amidst the challenges.”

Matabel with a client
Matabel selling her products
Matabel with a client
Matabel selling her products

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About Tujengane project

Matabel is one of 1159 health entrepreneurs trained under the Tujengane project in Kenya (2018-2021). The entrepreneurs provide reliable HIV and SRHR information. At the same time, they act as mobile pharmacies by providing basic medicines and supporting products, such as soap, condoms, and washable sanitary pads. It enables them to make a living while the community profits from low-priced products and easy accessible HIV and SRHR information. Tujengane is a collaboration of Healthy Entrepreneurs, Women Fighting AIDS in Kenya and Aidsfonds, with financial support from Amsterdam Dinner Foundation.

Matabel sorting her products
Matabel sorting her products
Matabel sorting her products
Matabel sorting her products

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