Dorcas is 31 years old and has three children. Her husband lives 350km away in Naivasha where he is a casual worker on a flower farm.

Dorcas’ life has been hard for a long time. Growing up, six of her brothers and sisters passed away, bringing heartache to the family. And, while she was still in school, her father also passed away.

He was the sole breadwinner and his death meant Dorcas and her siblings had no choice but to drop out of school. 

Unable to continue her love of education, Dorcas began farming and later started a family of her own. She tried to grow maize but with a lack of farming knowledge and with poor soil quality, she would often harvest just 20kgs. It simply wasn't enough and her young children were underweight and often taken to hospital because of malnutrition.

In 2013 Dorcas formed the Riwruok Eteko women’s group along with other local women in need of support. They started working with Send a Cow and received comprehensive training in farming, learning how to make the most of their land and how to improve crop yields. They also learnt about hygiene and sanitation, helping them to prevent their children from getting ill, as well as receiving training in gender equality and business skills. 

With this new knowledge, Dorcas started composting, made a tip-tap to wash her hands, established vegetable gardens and started saving some of her income from the farm. She used some of these savings to construct a cow shelter and was delighted to receive a dairy cow in 2015.

“The trainings coupled with gift of seeds, and eventually the cow, turned round my life completely”

The cow has since calved twice; “The first calf was a bull which I sold and earned cash money $700. It was the first time in my life I had earned such a huge sum of money. The second one is a heifer which I intend to pass on to a needy family to foster the spirit and principles of Send a Cow,” says Dorcas.

Dorcas now earns $6 a day which is 50% more than the average daily wage in Kenya. She consumes four litres of milk with her family every day, has surplus vegetables to sell, does not skip a single meal and eats a balanced diet, along with her children. 

Dorcas has also been employed by an NGO as a community health worker. She promotes primary health care and nutrition in the community and takes every available opportunity to train women - especially mothers - on farming, food production and family health.

“I enjoy milking my cow most as it gives me instant money and nutritious food” 

Dorcas is happy she can now provide her family with a balanced diet every day. Her breakfast consists of milk, tea, sugar and bread with margarine or potatoes. At lunch she often eats fish, ugali, vegetables and fruit. Her favourite dish is fried fish and ugali, whereas her children like chapati. “Such food was a delicacy meant for the rich or only eaten in a hotel or in a ceremony at someone else’s cost or on Christmas day, I could never afford such”, says Dorcas.

“I have the confidence, skills and means never to drop back to such life, courtesy of Send a Cow,” Dorcas says.

Dorcas is now realising a bright future. She aims to build a new home and she has even convinced her husband to move back onto the farm so they can work together.