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Women of Akola — Jewelry Production

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Ampaire Charity

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Gombe Irene used to farm with her husband to provide for their seven children. Unfortunately, when the harvest arrived her husband would leave with the money—only to return once it was gone. Irene overcame this by working hard farming for daily wages to feed her children. As a jewelry artisan with Akola Project, Irene now has a stable income that she can send all her children to school on. To manage the challenges in her personal life, she has drawn on the support of the counseling services at Akola Academy.

In her grass roofed mud hut, Gombe Irene has seven children that all stayed with her. For work, she and her husband would rent land to grow maize on to sell at market. Each time the harvest was ready and they sold their crops, her husband would disappear for weeks at a time only to return when the money was gone. To provide for her children, Irene would find work on large farms where she could earn a daily wage. Since there was just enough money to feed the family, none of the kids were in school. Irene dreamed of the day when she could find a job that paid enough to educate her children. One tangible step she took to improve her family’s situation was to start saving to buy her own piece of land—where she would have control o the sale from the harvest.