Nkooyian Lesanlurikuri was married at the young age of 15 to a man old enough to be her grandfather. She gave birth to a son and three daughters. Then her husband passed away. Nkooyian was left a heavy burden of caring for four children as a single mother with no reliable source of income. Nkooyian’s son has a developmental disability, which was used by her relatives as a reason to unfairly disqualify her from inheriting her husband’s property.
In a deeply entrenched patriarchal society like Nkooyian’s, it’s difficult being a widow or a woman in general. Nkooyian was presented with an incredible opportunity, however, when she was selected to enroll in BOMA’s poverty graduation program.
As one of the poorest women in her village, Nkooyian was given a chance to launch a business alongside two other women. On top of the business startup capital they received as a grant from BOMA, the three were also trained by BOMA mentors in business skills, family planning, group dynamics and more.
Not one to be held back by convention, Nkooyian has since ventured into selling livestock with her group — something considered taboo for women to do in their community. That perception hasn’t slowed them down, and the business has proven successful.
‘’We received a tender to supply male goats to the county government of Samburu for a period of one month,” Nkooyian said. “This really boosted our business, and we were able to get good profit.”
Today, Nkooyian is the proud owner of ten goats and two cows. Thanks to her thriving business, she can now take care of her children, pay their school fees, and buy their uniforms. Before BOMA, Nkooyian was forced to rely on brewing and selling alcohol to support her family, something she didn’t like and that wasn’t a reliable source of income.
“Now, I do not need to sell alcohol to feed my children, or sell the little assets that I had,” she explains. “I am now informed with more knowledge.”
With the support of her savings group, Nkooyian was also able to enroll her son in a suitable school nearby where he has already begun to show improvement. Nkooyian’s daughter, Naisherua, is a star pupil in school with a special love for mathematics. When she is not in school, Naisherua loves helping her mother with household chores.
“I love feeding the small goats and playing with them,” she said, before showing off her new books.
When she grows up, Naisherua wants to be a teacher. With her academic talent and the inspiring example set by her mother, she is sure to have a bright future ahead.