Faustina is the leader of the Kilimanjaro Association for the Spinally Injured – Women’s Co-operative (mercifully shortened to KASIWOCO). Her beautiful beaming smile and positive attitude belie the fact that she is often in pain and has been in a wheelchair for the last 11 years. She sustained a broken back following a dreadful car accident when she was thrown through the windscreen and was terribly injured.
She was 5 days pregnant at the time of the accident and miraculously the baby survived. Faustina’s lovely daughter, Tunu, which means ‘most precious gift’, is now 10 years old. In the days after her accident Faustina says she did not want to live. But the first sight of her baby daughter gave her a new purpose in life and made her determined to make the most of things so she could give the baby a future.
The peer training she received from KASIWOCO showed her there was still plenty to live for and she has fought back, despite the difficulties, to become a dynamic and fashionable career woman. Today she works for KASI giving the peer group training that helped her so much when she was recovering from her accident. She is looking to improve her qualifications with a certificate in community health care.
KASIWOCO is a group of 50 spinally injured women who live in Moshi, Tanzania. They wanted to take up beekeeping for a variety of reasons. The most important is that constant confinement in a wheelchair often gives rise to pressure sores, Honey is one of the best treatments for this and they use a lot; but it is expensive so they want to be able to produce their own. In addition the organisation needs to develop more reliable sources of income to be able to continue with the invaluable work they do in helping spinally injured people both in Tanzania and other parts of East and South Africa. The women themselves also need a means of making a living. Not an easy brief but we came up with an ambitious plan.
As a result, Bees Abroad are making a second visit to this group in November 2011 to move the project into its next phase. Culturing stingless bees and cosmetic making have been identified as the most immediately useful means of going forward for the first phase of the project. Ideally qualified, new recruits to Bees Abroad, David and Margery Bonner, will be giving training in making cosmetics and medicinal products to the women.
The Motivation group in the UK helps to raise funds for this group and other organisations for spinally injured people throughout the world – but the demand is huge. Bees Abroad are proud to help with this project.