Oliver’s Twist


It’s Oliver, not Olive or Olivia. I was corrected more than once when I mispronounced her name.

Oliver Danieli Urasa to be perfectly clear. A 55 year old mother to five children with two grandchildren.

She joined us in 2014 as part of Group C. She told us she was a widow. One of the other women told us she suffered abuse at the hand’s of her late husband. She was the quiet one in Group C.

During training she was shy and really focused on her studies. Hereith and I never saw her smile for several weeks as she listened and learned.  Her business plan was for a chicken business based out of her house.

At the end of the training, her project was approved. Not only was it approved we were able to donate the value of her chickens to give her a little boost (thanks to those that bought a chicken for a woman in Africa). The shy and quiet Oliver suddenly came to life. She burst into dance. She was doing a little jive back and forth swinging her dress in her hands as she came forward to accept her money. And she was beaming!

She wasn’t shy about getting her picture taken either.

Me and Oliver
The generosity of the donors didn’t stop there. To give her business extra support during start-up, she was given a one year sponsorship. As always, this is voted on by the women as to who is to receive those funds.

In 2015, it was a pleasure to visit her home to witness her success. She lives in a simple mud and stick hut that has whitewashed walls. She tries to support her children and grandchildren from her business. Most importantly, her business is surviving due to the strong start that took the pressure off the issue of cash flow.

She was proud to tell us she now owned a bed, she didn`t sleep on the dirt floor anymore. Any additional funds went to build a toilet behind her house, more like our version of an outhouse.

When I was finished my inspection, Oliver walked beside me up her neatly raked driveway that was lined with bushes. She turned and grasp my hands in hers and with joy and passion thanked me for all that was done for her. A private conversation away from the others. Although, I speak so little Swahili, standing and listening to her thank me was one of the great moments of this last trip. Her smile and sincerity did not need translation.

DSC00150 (2) (152x160)Doesn’t she have a great smile? 

Thanks everyone for making this special woman smile.

Shannan Brown 

Project Lead

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