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Excerpts from Megan Mayhew Bergman’s article in The Wall Street Journal on Nov 22, 2015:

…”While the natural world in northern Kenya is astounding, so is the poverty. The BOMA Project specializes in poverty-graduation programs and works with women in remote, arid, semi-nomadic villages. These women constitute last-mile poverty, people living on less than 33 cents a day. To see them is to witness another century. As pastoralists, their husbands are gone months out of the year, and without food aid or community-driven programs like BOMA that help them set up sustainable businesses and savings, these women wouldn’t make it through droughts. To run this type of program means getting into the field on a regular basis, and the Kenyan field is not for the faint of heart.”

…”There is one thing that none of us are immune to, and that’s seeing the realities of extreme poverty in person. Malnourished children, sooty huts, sick goats rooting through mounds of trash, the stench of the latrine – if there is a latrine. Villages like Kargi challenge all of us in the group – the expats, the Kenyan employees, and me. But the gratitude of the women who are proud to earn their own money and work toward savings and self-reliance instead of food aid is inspiring. We listen to their proud stories of sending children to school on their own money, of turning not to their husbands or aid but to their own savings to feed their children before bed.”

Read the full article at the wall Street Journal website.