I found Jesca Ciahcabi sitting beneath the shade of a crispy, brown banana tree. I reached for a handshake, but instead she hugged me. We were in Ndiruni, a small village roughly three hours northeast of Nairobi.
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It was a straightforward story of exploitation. The people of the fragile Tana Delta, still recovering from tribal violence that claimed over 100 lives in September, were facing an assault on their treasured land by big business – in this case, a Canadian corporation planning a massive biofuel plantation in the region.
These are the keys to a lockbox where 12 members of a savings group in Mozambique are investing their earnings. With the return on their investments, they have been able to make basic improvements to their homes, like a freezer, an oven, a table and chairs, bowls and plates, and a roof that doesn’t leak.