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  • Feb 04, 2018
  • by PACIDA

It's one Thursday afternoon at Manyatta Jillo, the scorching sun rays heavily spiking thro my forehead as I saunter into the homestead of Dansa Jaldesa, a 28-year old mother of three. From a distance, I can see her seated under a tree, catching the hot breeze blowing across her fine-looking face. She gives me a warm welcoming but contagious smile. I cannot help but reciprocate. She asks me to join her under the tree but just before I sit down, I am enthusiastic to know the reason behind her jolly and obviously tranquil look.

“This is perfect timing,” she says as she chortles. “Please make your way through the door on your extreme left and see the benefits the trainings held on household dialogues have brought forth, the impact is massive to say the least,” says Ms. Jaldesa. Immediately, I stand-up on my feet and dash into the kitchen. I meet Dansa’s husband and my heart melts at what I see. His eyes are all teary, occasioned by the smoke coming from the open fire. At one point, the fire goes out, but he doesn’t relent, he keeps going and blows it until it cracks into flames. He is busy preparing lunch for his wife and their 2 children who are yet to come back for lunch from school. I hurriedly say hi and makes my way back to where his wife, Ms. Jaldesa is.

Dansa’s Previous Daily Diary

Normally, she could wake up at 4.30am, do a few house chores including preparing breakfast, take the kids to school, come back take the animals for grazing. While at the field grazing, she would strategically take her animals where someone else was also looking after their own, request them to look after her livestock briefly as she dashed back home to give breakfast to her husband and finish up on other chores. In the meantime, her husband 36-year old husband was left sleeping. She felt overwhelmed a lot of times and felt like throwing in the towel instead kept going. “Taking the animals for grazing was my daily routine and my husband could occasionally only go to far flanged areas. Additionally, I had to make time out to sell at our small family shop, ” she says.

The Turn-Around

“Midway into the house dialogues sessions, I fell ill, my entire lower part of my leg became swollen and I sought treatment in Moyale. My husband immediately took up all the roles I used to play and he does them perfectly well. I have never heard him grumble,” she says with a lot of conviction. He has now realized the much work I have been doing over the years and he daily thanks and appreciates me for being a great wife. He promises to always aid with the chores. “Let me tell you the surprising bit of my sickness. The doctors told me it would take me six-months before I could be on my feet again, but surprisingly, one month down the line, I feel much better. I would credit my quick recovery to the fact that my husband is there to support me in all ways including making time out to sell at the shop,” adds Ms. Dansa. I am also psychologically and emotionally settled. If only couples could support each other, the world would be a better place where thriving is the order of the day, thank you to the project for making us realize the importance of dialogue in families. I assure you that in the next two-weeks, I would be fully recuperated,” she bursts out into laghter as she waves me goodbye.
PACIDA with funding from SNV, is implementing a 5-year programme called ‘Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises’ (EOWE) with an aim of boosting the start-up and development of women’s businesses in rural areas of Marsabit County. The programme focuses on three major components including control over and use of income and resources, access to credit and decision-making power and leadership within households and communities.

© PACIDA/Keziah Adhiambo