Joyce Wanja Nyaga is a 52-year-old lady from Karaa village, Maara Sub County. She is married to Silverston Nyaga and blessed with three children.
Joyce was the youngest of ten children in her family. Right before she was born, her father remarried and abandoned them at the hospital. They were stuck for weeks because they could not afford to pay the hospital charges. Her brother who was in high school had to drop out, sell his few school belongings to help out with the hospital bills. Her mother worked so hard to keep them in school. Joyce would help meet the bills by working as a
house cleaner. Although she was passionate about getting a good education, she had to drop out of high school and soon became married.
She was blessed with two children but unfortunately, her husband passed away leaving her with two young children. Her in-laws threw her out of her home and she was left homeless with two young kids to fend for. She started a clothing resale business in a town nearby. She worked hard and got a monthly income of KES 19200 (USD 19). This income was hardly enough to sustain her in a big town but she continued to work hard. After a few years, she decided to move back to her home town.
She started a hotel business which failed after a short while after the landlord threw her out. It was during this time that she remarried. Her husband was supportive and helped her start a bakery. Joyce was always moved by the plight for abandoned children since she had experienced such pain first hand and in 2015, she started taking in abandoned children to give them a home, food, clothing and provide education.
In the year 2018, Joyce heard of Village HopeCore International’s (HopeCore) poverty eradication program, after which she took it upon herself to mobilize and bring together a Self Help Group. Once the group became acquainted with HopeCore’s Micro Enterprise program, the Micro Enterprise team started educating the group about viable and alternative businesses they could get involved in and how members could invest smartly in order to better their lives.
After graduating from Associate Group status to Partner Group status in November 2018, the group received a loan of 720,000 KES whereby each client received 60,000 KES, of which Joyce was one of the beneficiaries. With the loan, Joyce was able to expand her bakery business. She desperately needed capital to satisfy the increasing demand of her baked products and with the loan from Village Hope Core, she was able to
expand. In a span of two weeks after they were funded, she had made such massive sales that she was able to purchase a motorbike to facilitate transportation of her cakes to the various markets. She has now hired two people to help run the business hence creating employment for members of the community. Her monthly income from the bakery stands at KES 192,000. (USD 1920), her expenses at KES 144,000(USD 1440) leaving her with a monthly profit of KES 48,000(USD 480).
She also has a maize plantation where she gets an income of KES 100,000(USD 1000) in a period of six months. She is now able to provide for her three children and also sustains the six children she takes care of.
She dreams of owning a big bakery with modern machinery so that she is able to sustain her family and give her adopted kids the best life she possibly can.
Joyce with all of the children she cares for.