I always wondered how an African Mama can use half a dollar to feed the whole family. When I recently found this short story on IRIN, I thought I just needed to share it with you here to give us all an idea of how one can survive on as little as half a dollar per day. Here’s the Kibera Recipe.
Swiss precision sounds like dilettantish efforts compared to the amazing organizational skills of Wilbroda Aoko Wandera from Kibera Slums in the capital of Kenya, Nairobi. Wilbroda is a widow for the past 16 years and since her husband died she is solely responsible for sustaining the whole family. Wandera, who sells spinach, washes clothes and plaits hair, has no regular income or stable job at the moment.
" I have learnt to make meals for the whole family even when I have only 40 shillings [$0.50]. With this, I buy maize flour for 20 shillings, sugar for five, paraffin for 10, a lemon for two and water for three. This will make a [pot] of porridge and everybody can get a cup. That takes us to the next day. “
"When I have 50 shillings, I buy sukuma wiki [kales] for 10 shillings, maize flour for 30, cooking oil for five and paraffin for five. With this, I cook ugali and the sukuma wiki and everyone will at least have a hot meal.
"On a good day, when I make at least 100 shillings, the diet is better; I buy maize flour for 45, omena [sardines] for 20, tomatoes for 10, paraffin for 10 and cooking oil for 10. This is enough for two meals for the whole family. But the days I make 100 are rare. Besides, when I make more than 100, I put away some money for school fees and rent.
"I feel blessed that I have the support of other widows. We formed a self-help group in 2007. We are there for each other, we skip meals together, we help each other in merry-go-round donations of 20 shillings a week and struggle to bring up our children. Life in Kibera is hard but it is 10 times harder for a widow with children."
UNBELIEVABLE, ISN'T IT?
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