I first met Jacob and Garanetti Mwakakipesile from Bujesi village, Tanzania in 2008. Their four adult children had died, leaving the elderly couple to care for eleven grandchildren. On an income of approximately $1 a day, they had no hope of giving the family a good life. In the fall of 2008, the newly formed Bujesi MVC Committee (MVCC) nominated the family to be founder members of the new Bujesi cow coop. After 4 months of training, building a cow shelter and planting a pasture they received a 9-month-old heifer, and they named her “Tumaini,” which means hope.
Tumaini has transformed Jacob and Garanetti’s family. She has produced seven calves, thousands of gallons of milk and plenty of dung to fertilize their crops. Her first calf was donated to the cow coop, enabling another vulnerable family to increase their income, and her second calf was donated to the Most Vulnerable Children’s Committee. The sale of milk, calves and the increased yields of their crops, has raised their family income four-fold.
Today the grandchildren have a healthy diet and receive healthcare and a good education. The four eldest grandchildren have graduated from university, two granddaughters are in law school, and the remaining five children are in secondary school. In a country where very few can even aspire to go to a university, the achievements of the Mwakakipesile family are remarkable.
Asante Sana, Barry Childs, Founder