It is well hidden, and you will never stumble over it accidentally, so let me be your guide to a little success story about 10 km. from the impressive skyline of Nairobi. I’m greeted by Anastaciah Njuguna a stout woman in her thirties. There is a deafening sound of pigs squealing, goats bahhhing and dogs barking. She’s a pig farmer, a goat farmer and – quite extraordinary – a German Shepherd breeder. The goats alone give her 3.5 liter milk a day of which she sells two liters at app. 2 EUR a liter. In some cases it doesn’t take much to move yourself well above the poverty limit. All it takes is a strong will, hard work – and in Anastaciahs case a loan from MYC4 partner GrowthAfrica.
Anastaciah is way over that limit and she’s still moving upwards. She’s on her third MYC4 loan of EUR 1.897, the repayment is on track, she made her first repayment on the latest loan late January. The money is spent on pig feeds, drugs, vaccines and improvements of the pig units. Her first loan got her started with a handful of pigs, today she’s the proud owner of 16 pigs, one orne, three German Shepherds and four goats.
The loan officer from GrowthAfrica who’s with me on the visit tells me, that Anastaciah is a perfect client. She has always repaid her loans on time beginning with her first loan in 2008. Being a small time farmer like Anastaciah ordinary banks wouldn’t know of her and her needs and ideas.
– I’m very happy now, Anastaciah tells me over and over again. She can hardly stand still while talking to me busy as she is feeding the animals and cleaning out the units. She takes care of everything, no helper at hand and her husband has a job of his own, also in agriculture.
– I couldn’t have done all of this without the loans, so I’m very grateful, and I have a vision: One day not too far away I’ll build a bigger house.
To me the house seems plenty big for herself, her husband and three children of whom two are in a boarding school, but I guess it’s with Anastaciah like with the rest of us: If we can afford a bigger house, we buy a bigger house.
The pigs are the backbone of the little farm with the piglets earning her a good steady income along with the milk from the goats. The German Shepherds seem to be more of an experiment, but who knows? The security industry in Kenya is enormous, and the need for dogs is growing.
Like any other parent Anastaciah is very concerned about the future of her children. – I am proud of what I have accomplished here, I really love it, and I hope my children will benefit from it in terms of a good education, she says. Several times she asks me if we’re through with the interview, not because she’s impatient but because she’s busy making her vision come real.
I’m sure she’ll make it to where she wants to be. It’s true, pigs can make you happy. Her history proves it.
Below you can watch a short video with Anastaciah.