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Rachael Moraa: Determination is my other name

Background Rachael Moraa is 24 years old. She got married at the age of 20 to Wycliffe Omwange, and they have been together for the last four years. She is the fifth child in a family of six children. Her parents are both subsistence farmers and live up-country.

She grew up in the village, where her parents struggled to pay her school fees. After completing secondary school, she could not afford college. She stayed at home for two years, helping her parents with farm work and taking care of her ailing mother.

Her father was not pleased to see her around. Therefore, there was always tension between the two. This conflict led her to move to Nairobi to live with her elder sister. Life was not easy at her sister’s place either, so she remained very vulnerable. She got engaged to a man with whom she moved in to the Tassia slums after only three months. As a housewife, Rachael experienced a lot of financial constraints because her husband is a casual laborer with an unreliable source of income.

Rachael is all smiles during training.

Story

One afternoon, Rachael’s friend informed her about Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team’s (AMURT) DREAMS Ajiri Dada project initiative and how she could benefit. She told her husband about the program and, as luck would have it, her husband allowed her to join the one-month, in-house training. Getting her husband’s approval and support was important to ensure that he would not interfere with her empowerment. She was admitted to the training center on February 6, 2017 and graduated on March 31, 2017.

The training helped build her character and change her attitude towards housekeeping. She realized that the job was a stepping stone to higher grounds. She gained skills in housekeeping and food production, which were her favorite subjects. Her communication skills improved greatly, as well as her time and resource management skills.

Rachael gave a speech during graduation.

Less than a month after training, Rachel was placed at a job as a reliever tea-girl for one week and later moved on to housekeeping, with a salary of Ksh 11,000 per month. She had other incentives, besides her salary, to continue working. For instance, whenever her employer comes back from traveling, she gives Rachael some money to buy food. When she completes her duties, or when her boss comes home early, she can leave work early.

Rachael and husband in their new enterprise.

Outcomes From the money Rachael earns, she supports her ailing mother’s medical treatment. She also helps her husband take care of their family needs. During the housekeeping training, Rachael acquired skills in cookery, home management, and laundry, among others. Consequently, Rachael’s relationship with her husband has greatly improved. He says, “My shirts are very well ironed nowadays, and most of all I enjoy my home-made meals. I feel like having them

every morning, and the house is ever clean and tidy. This training has made life better for us.” Even with the many demands in her life, Rachael has managed to save some money and started a business on her estate. The businessis mostly run by her husband, who has been out of employment. Rachael is optimistic that her life can only get better. The certificate she has acquired from the housekeeping training is a treasure she will defend with her life. She says: “Thank you DREAMS Ajiri Dada. You have changed my life.” -Rachael Moraa