Built to Thrive: A Story of Resilience in COVID-19
In 2020, World Renew worked in nearly three dozen countries to address COVID-19’s attack on the lives and livelihoods of some of the most vulnerable populations around the world. We have come alongside communities as their crops suffer, and we have grieved as small businesses and personal savings accounts have dwindled away. And yet, we also have witnessed stories of resilience. Through the long-term investments of donors like you, we have helped communities weather this trying season with fortitude. Such stories include Selina Lotit, a Kenyan mother who, thanks to her training with World Renew, has navigated the pandemic with the food and resources needed to keep her family healthy, her children in school, and her hope alive. Married, with a family of three boys and two girls, Selina has known the struggles and challenges of poverty well. Selina initially connected with World Renew in 2016 during our efforts to respond to the drought in her region of the country. Over time, we also helped Selina’s community invest in community infrastructure, climate-adaptive farming techniques, and employment opportunities so they could weather the next disaster for themselves. We had no idea that disaster would take the form of a pandemic. During the last five years, Selina says she has learned “to be an independent woman,” gaining entrepreneurship skills to start a small business and farming skills to manage her family’s crops and livestock. As a result of her hard work and creativity, Selina has seen the trajectory of her family transform. Before COVID-19 struck, Selina was harvesting up to 20 bags of maize a quarter. In addition, her business was earning the family a profit of $100 (USD) per month. Selina has become a full partner with her husband in providing for the family’s needs, including school uniforms and fees for the children. Today, Selina’s eldest daughter has just graduated from University with a Bachelors in Actuarial Science. Her three sons continue their studies in high school and primary school, and her youngest daughter will start school next year when she turns four. While COVID-19 has not left Selina’s family unscathed, the income Selina continues to take in from the skills she has gained through World Renew and the food her family can safely farm have kept them from crisis. Selina continues to nurture hope in her heart for how her community will once again come together and rebuild after the pandemic passes. Thanks to World Renew, she is confident they have the tools they need to thrive again. We pray that God will hasten the day it is safe for Selina and her community to gather again.