Ngari village and Kitui
I am happy to tell you that the scholars projects are progressing well, carried out primarily by the community memebers. The scholars communicate with the lead members while they are at school and participate int he projects when they are home during the university breaks. Please see the update from senior scholar Jemimah and Sophomore scholar Justus.
Challenges were part of our group; some parents could not allow their children to join the group for fear of negative socialization especially girls. But I can say that the situation has surely improved following continuous sessions I have had with some parents to convince them that the group is aimed at enhancing lives of the young students and not destroy them. We now have about 20 girls in regular attendance in the group.
To mark the end of the holiday, we always hold a motivational talk; to specifically touch on matters academics and encourage the students as they go back to their respective schools. This time round, precisely on 3rd May 2014, we invited speakers from without our group, formally our classmates and friends who are in or graduated from the university to talk to our students. Things of great value were discussed. This marked the end of the April session and students could now report to school with something important learnt during their stay at home.
Thank you for your support of these scholars. They are learning valuable leadership skills and at the same time helping uplift their communities.
Thank you so much for supporting the PATHWAYS scholars. Today we want to report on the progress Jemimah has made with her community water project as well as the progress of two more junior PATHWAYS scholars, Justus and Eric.
I am now working with two projects. My initial educational promotion and mentorship is the one dealing with the students (youth) who are mostly in secondary school. Over last holiday,we had 35 youth who attended our meetings,15 were ladies and 20 were men. Members have been a lovely group showing enthusiasm and co-operation in the weekly meetings. Community work that we managed to do includes visiting the family of one of us who lost a brother (as I reported earlier).
We also had a get together party over the Christmas festive season which was facilitated using the funds contributed by the members. To mark the end of the holiday meetings, we normally conduct a motivational talk aimed at empowering the members and encourage them as they go back to school and embark on their studies (most of whom are in secondary schools).
In addition, I work with a women group who work in the irrigation project, 9 women in total. Income from the project is quite helpful to the members.
Thank you for all of your support
Besides the poultry project that is doing quite well, I introduced another project to the women during the short Christmas holidays. I managed to teach a few of the women how to make bags. I only had a few materials for that and so they made three big bags and two small ones. It was amazing how fast they grasped the skill and they are willing to teach the rest and continue with it as part of their overall income generating project. The big bags were going for one thousand five hundred and the small ones for three hundred shillings and the demand is so high. It is very encouraging for the women who can use the funds to help pay their childrens’ school fees.
Eric I am working with the organization my cousin founded that helps rescue girls who are at risk for or who have experience female genital mutilation. Recently, 14 girls were rescued. Most of them were rescued during the long December holiday when the high season of FGM and marriage occurs. A few are total orphans and very needy and are at risk of getting married if they don't join form one after performing well. All the girls have admission letters to different high schools across the country. Josephine is trying all her best to make sure they join school although she is still looking for support.
One of the girls, Sarafina had this to say "Despite the fact that i had passion to study,I never thought that I will ever study since my parents were rooted to culture. I don't mean that our culture is bad but some of the practices e.g FGM,beading and early marriage are evil. I am very happy to have attained 343 marks but all my gratitude goes to Josephine Kulea who have been a good mother to me and who rescued me from early marriage. My dream is to become a doctor and an activist of women in our community and I am working hard to it. I am angered by some of our educated friends who despite seeing the light are still supporting this evil practices. I hope after some time we will have change in our community where all women will have freedom."
With sincere appreciation,
Thank you so much for supporting Jemimah, Dennis, and Michael. Dennis and Michael are graduating today (December 6, 2013) from the University of Nairobi. We are very proud of all they have accomplished both academically and with their community projects. I want to introduce Hussein, a third year PATHWAYS scholar majoring in actuarial science. His project is to alleviate poverty in his community by providing community members with a goat. Please see his report below.
It is now a year and a month since this project has commenced, and here is a brief write up on what has been going on:
We were glad to meet with most of the beneficiaries during our field visit; all being very well and sound. We were also glad to meet the goats too; all hale and hearty, living quite felicitously under the caring arms of 18 devoted women and 2 strong men.
The goat number now stands at 23, with 12 adults and 11 kids. The number of kids born since the initialization of the project is actually 14, but 3 have passed away, as indicated in our previous quarterly reports, for one reason or another. In the past one year each of the 10 female goats we supplied initially has given birth to at least one goat, others blessedly two.
We gathered from the beneficiaries a few vital and very critical facts: One, it would take a goat about 5 to 6 months after giving birth before it conceived once again. The second bit of truism we gathered was that it would take about 6 to 7 months before a dependent kid became permanently and self-sustainably detached from its mother. This piece of statistic will by all odds come in handy in our future planning and execution of our assumed mandate to distribute to as many families as possibleógoats that will aid poor folk here or there and in one way or another, as we battle to outdo and chase away poverty from our midst.
Thankfully there have been only a few cases of goats ailing. In the past 4 months there have been zero complaints. In the past one year, about 4 remotely-mentioned cases, three of which were the concern to one particular goat. This goat is under the custodianship of Mama Nyakondo and her project partner Bwana.
My group keeps encouraging Mama Nyakondo to keep her custodianship to her goat who is sickly plus her faith to it, and to still get involved in the project. By the end of this first phase of our program we plan to come up with the appropriate ways to indemnify her.
Talking about end of phase, I want to report here that as a group, we have resolved to take back from the beneficiaries, the parent-goat stock by early June, or latest August 2014. Our projection is that by this time each of the initial (parent) goats would have a minimum of two birthed kids. These kids will remain irredeemably under the ownership of the respective beneficiaries, to carry forward this whole business of goat-keeping. Our primary goal as a group is to alleviate poverty, and we are working to train and influence the villagers to work through the rest of the stages of this initiated program in line with this aspiration.
Future Plans With The Program
We have a vision as a group to see this program grow and turn into an excellent, helpful social businessóin line with the model of business proposed by Muhammad Yunus , founder and Managing Director of the Grameen Bank in Dhaka, Bangladesh and also the recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
Report written by Hussein Said, Project-Manager-Nguuni Youth Group.
Project sponsored by Pathways Leadership for Progress
Thank you so much for supporting Jemimah Peters, Dennis Mutwiri, and Michael Murigi. Dennis and Michael are finishing up their degrees at the University of Nairobi and will be graduating in December. We are very proud of all they have accomplished both academically and with their community projects. I want to introduce Brian Maluki, a 3rd year PATHWAYS scholar majoring in medicine. He will be reporting on his project in Kitui County, Kenya along with Jemimah Peters.
Jemimah Peters The women’s group is engaged in the care of the poultry and they have plans to increase the number so improve revenue from egg selling. Our area is so dry that water is the limiting factor for almost everything, from raising crops to education. The pursuit of water takes so much time. Walking the 3 kilometers to fetch water each day prevents women and children from engaging in other useful endeavors, for instance children doing their homework. While I am happy that the two water tanks are providing much needed water, they still dry up before the rains come. That is why we are planning to dig an underground tank or dig a borehole so that we can have water for the community year round. I will consult with geologists and my community members before making a decision.
Attached is a photo of my women’s group in front of the water tank near our church. I am pictured in the front int he organge shirt. The other photo is of my women's group leader talking about the need for water in this dry area of Kenya.
Thank you for helping to uplift my community.
My project involves making art and clay products such as pots, baskets, ropes, and bricks using the widely and readily available materials locally, that is, clay which is the common soil type in the area and Sisal fiber from sisal plant that grows well under the semi-arid conditions in the area.
My project has been inspired by the poor living standards of the residents in the area yet there is a vast of unutilized resources that can be put to use and generate income for their livelihoods. The raw materials are absolutely free, the challenge has been how to use them; this gave the inspiration for the project. The main objective being to empower and equip people with the necessary skills to make and sell their products.
So far, through PATHWAYS we have a piece of land (80m*50m) we have grown Sisal and Aloe Vera. Members have been assisted to grow sisal in their pieces of land and also are trained on how to weave baskets and make ropes for sale as evident in the photos. Plans are underway to acquire a sisal processing machine that will go a long way to help increase the production capacity and increase efficiency. Members have made some money through selling baskets, one costs about US$7 and make an average of 100US$ per month. We also began a microfinance in a bid to help members invest and save their earnings as well as educate them on financial literacy. We also provide credit facilities at lower interest rates to enable members run similar projects at home.
My projects benefits sixty families as at now. We aim at reaching one hundred families by the end of the year. And through your support and bountiful giving, YES WE CAN!
Attached is a picture of some of the members showcasing their sisal bags and also a photo of me.
You are making a huge difference in the lives of my community members.
We are grateful!
Thank you so much for supporting Jemimah Peters, Dennis Mutwiri, and Michael Murigi. Dennis and Michael are finishing up their degrees at the University of Nairobi and will be graduating in December. We are very proud of all they have accomplished both academically and with their community projects. Below is an update on the specific progress the three of them have made in the last few months.
Jemimah Peters: My project is doing quite well. The group of 11 women is currently engaged in the poultry project and vegetable farming. They have 37 chicken:3 cocks and 34 hens. About 2 months ago, some of the hens started laying eggs (see photo). Initially, they were selling the eggs to the villagers, each going for 10 KSh, from which the women got an approximate amount of KSh 750. However, they stopped selling them and they are now keeping the eggs for hatching. There are two hens now, one with 10 eggs and another with 7 which are under incubation. Besides the poultry, the group is engaged in vegetable irrigation (see photo), and as from last week, the sukuma wiki were ready for consumption. In addition, I have introduced our group to WEF (Women Enterprise Fund), a government agency established to provide interest free loans to women groups in Kenya to start and/or expand businesses. I contacted the WEF officer based in our county and he is yet to give me an appropriate date to go train the members on various investment opportunities, which is a requirement before the group can access any loans. I will be giving more information on that later. Attached below are some the photos. Thank you for helping to uplift my community. Jemimah
Dennis Mutwiri: It is coming to the end of my undergraduate career. I am very proud of my community for all that they have accomplished through GlobalGiving and PATWHAYS, We have a sustainable nursery with over 5 000 trees, a profitable fishery, a solar panel project that is helping to use the power of the sun to help people power their phones and appliances in an environmentally friendly way. One of my main goals with this project was to help our local environment by harnassing the sun and planting trees to combat deforestation. In addition, my community has instituted a merry go round or a microlending group so that people can help one another with loans and avoid the high interest rates charged by the local banks. This program has jump started our economy and we even have more plans for the future. You have greatly impacted our community- thank you! Dennis
Michael Murigi: I wish to inform you that we were last week privileged to host a group of PhD scholars at our demo plot. The agronomists are currently engaged with the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa and are drawn from the whole of Africa. We purchased the initial cassava cuttings from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). The project to develop the new cassava varieties had been financed by AGRA. However, a limitation of KARI is that its outreach to farmers is limited. Agricultural research projects are done but there are no structures to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge, information and materials to farmers. This is the gap that our project fills. We grow the newer and better cassava varieties in our demo plot and distribute these to farmers. It is unfortunate that there is no other group in the whole country doing that and in fact if any farmer wanted the new cassava varieties they can only get from us. We are indeed filling an important niche with our project. The Agronomists were pleased to learn how a community benefited from a research project that was funded by AGRA. You are making a huge difference in the lives of my community members. We are grateful! Michael
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