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Photo: Mama Milka with one of her banana trees

"Mama" Milka Anyango Atieno was born in Kobura, a neighboring town of Ahero. She got married in Ahero and had two children, but lost her family. Currently she is living in a small house right next to the Community Based Organisation (CBO), a local support group. She works as a cook for the kindergarten and is responsible for orphan feeding.

She also manages the food stocks. Her advice is highly valued at group meetings and the general opinion about her is that of a wise woman.

In 2013 she co-founded the CBO and the community trusts her and her opinion. Her knowledge of growing fruits and vegetables is very important. Although there were difficulties in the beginning, she suggested growing bananas and sucuma and was able to make the first profits. The CBO would not be what it is today without Mama Milka. She doesn't get any money for her work, but everything she needs for her living. She loves to be among people, she likes to call all workers, children and volunteers "her children". She doesn't know the feeling of being lost as many old people have, since the CBO needs her. In addition to young people, she also motivates old women to join the CBO and work there. For example, she has encouraged older women to help her cook and to attend meetings. This development makes her proud.

For the future she hopes for support. She has no grandchildren or children, so she is dependent on the help of the CBO. A house that would be suitable for the needs of her age is a dream of her. However, in her current home she has a direct water connection and a few banana trees set up by volunteers, for which she is very grateful.

"Good things take time. So work with us, be patient and you will be rewarded," is her message about the work of the CBO. In addition, it is a call to continue the activities of the CBO.

"She may be old, but incredibly strong - mentally. She has a clear head and persuaded me to stay here," says William Opudo about her. Since then he has been an engineer and mechanic for the CBO. Nam, a teenage volunteer, says about Mama Milka: "When my father died I didn't know what to do next. She has strengthened me by saying that this is not the end, that I should support the CBO with my labour and that having a family here is worthwhile to carry on.

Mama Milka speaks Luo with a few bits of Kiswaheli. When Isa, one member of the TERRA TECH staff, met her, she was directly called 'Mtoto yangu' (= 'My child'). As soon as Isa is leaving, Mama Milka starts to cry, but when Isa comes back, she dances. Mama Milka has a weakness for food, especially everything she does not know she likes to try, e.g. chocolate or lollipops from Germany, Switzerland or Italy. She is an open minded person and despite her age she has maintained an independent, rebellious nature.

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Please support our work


Accounts for donation:

Sparkasse Marburg-Biedenkopf
IBAN: DE46 5335 0000 0000 0444 40
BIC: HELADEF1MAR

Volksbank Mittelhessen
IBAN: DE58 5139 0000 0016 4090 06
BIC: VBMHDE5F


or conveniently online:

button-spende-english