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
Thank you so much for supporting Jemimah Peters, Dennis Mutwiri, Michael Murigi, who are progressing towards completion of their university studies while also contributing to the uplifting of their communities. The community members are working to make their projects sustainable long term. Below is an update on the specific progress they have made in the last few months.
I am glad to report to you that our project is now able to sustain itself. This is as expected of a PATHWAYS scholar completing their undergraduate course. As you know, our milling business follows the social enterprise model. Profit accumulation is NOT our primary goal. We charge very lowly to encourage farmers to mill their cassava and enjoy a diverse utility of their crop. However, with the little profits accruing, we are able to facilitate maintenance of the machines, payment of rental fees, operator salary. In addition, we are able to support other activities within the project. This project and the support from you and the GlobalGiving community has helped our community to increase its income long term. This increase in income translates into increased health and education for the community.
Am doing very fine and my family is also well. School is going well even though I am quite busy at the moment with assignments and C.A.Ts. I also play chess as an extracurricular activity and traveled to Tanzania for a competition.
About my project, we completed the construction of the poultry house. In the mean time, the women’s group has 13 chickens in the chicken house each member has contributed one. They are still debating whether to keep layers or broilers. I was able to talk to the chair-lady of the group and another member and they had almost the same thing to say. From the chair-lady: the project has done a lot for her. From the crops that they have been growing, she has been benefiting in that, with few or no other places to get the vegetables in dry seasons, they have been getting them from their plot at a very cheap cost or no cost at all. She says thanks to Pathways and GlobalGiving, this has been made possible by the availability of the water tanks. She says, through the activities that they are undertaking in the project, she has learned to be self reliant and to work hard for herself. She adds that, through the inspiration of the project, she has started a small business of selling fruits and she earns some few coins from it.As the chairlady of the women group, she has attended several seminars and trainings to represent the group and learned various skills. For instance, she says that they were trained on how to make clay jikos which conserve wood by a certain NGO, but the problem is the soil type in the surrounding as its not the type for making the jikos. Whatever she implies is that, being part of such a self-help group has helped her and the other members be recognized and considered in important events. She says that she has benefited from the group in that,besides doing their project activities, they help each other and other community members in any activity that needs a group assistance for a small fee.This,she says has helped her and many others. Finally she says, “we are just about to start selling eggs and earn money.”
The other member basically has the same story to tell but mainly emphasizes on the fact that they have water, which they are using for their young seedlings and poultry. They don't have to go fetching water in the rivers which are already drying up after it has not rained for just a few weeks. Overall, they are doing great and they are happy about the project.
Due to PATHWAYS and GlobalGiving we now have 5 000 seedling tree and fruit nurseries, the fish pond which has a population of appx 1 000 fish, the solar panel project and a merry go round loan program. All of these projects are making a great progress. The support from the community is enormous. Perhaps an amazing impact of the project which was not envisaged is the development of leadership skills among the group members. Janet Nkatha, the group chair could not hide her joy for what the group interaction has made her. “When I joined this group, I was very shy, I could not stand before people, I had no confidence, my self esteem was extremely low. Two years down the line I am a changed person, with a totally outgoing personality. I am now an officer in charge of Kongo Acheke sub-location, a post that was previously reserved for men. I have learnt that women too can be effective leaders and want to set an example to our girls”
You have greatly impacted our community- thank you!
Thank you so much for supporting Jemimah Peters, Dennis Mutwiri, Michael Murigi, who are progressing towards completion of their university studies while also contributing to the uplifting of their communities. The community members have continued to benefit through the projects the PATHWAYS scholars have initiated. Below is an update on the specific progress they have made in the last few months.
I hereby wish to give a report on my project progress. Our plan was to construct a poultry house and keep poultry for income generation purposes. After a long discussion,
the members decided to put up the poultry house at our central project area which is our local church. So far we have completed the construction with only the door and wire-mesh installation remaining, as we ran short of funds. But with the assistance of the second half of the project funds, we are going to complete it soonest and begin the poultry keeping. I have attached photos of the poultry house (the view of the photos may not be that clear as the poultry house is in between two other buildings and so the photos were taken somehow from the side view). The members are eagerly waiting for the completion of the house as they are optimistic about getting income from the project.
We are grateful for your support,
I also met my group over the brief holiday and they are all doing fine. My projects are also progressing well.
Our trees are almost of age and will be in the market during the coming rainy season, in April. We still have people paying for solar panels we loaned them. In fact, one of our members to whom we loaned a panel 11 months ago has completed her payment. We have three solar panels that we intend to loan to three more members.
The fish project is also doing well. Nevertheless, the market has been a challenge. We had a chance of discussing the way out with my members and we contacted several buyers who promised to get back to us. So far, we are still waiting to hear from them.
The merry-go-round project is doing exceptionally well. We closed 2012 with a finance base of sh. 165 250. The loans continue helping members meet their financial obligations. They mainly use the money to boost their agriculture. At the close of the year, every member was awarded a sh. 500 bonus! I am currently undertaking a project related to micro finance as my university project. I discussed it with my members and we intend to use my findings in expanding the project. We also intend to lay down a sound framework that will enable us lend to other groups with the region. I believe the project is right on a growing path.
I am completing my degree in May this year God willing. It has been a period where a lot has changed in my life, thanks to PATHWAYS. I have been able to impact my community, progress my leadership skills, and integrate well with society. I think I would be a completely different person were it not for this organization. I still feel that PATHWAYS is the way to go. In this regard, it is my intention to continue manning my projects even after completion of my studies at the university.
Thank you for your support of me and of this organization!
Our cassava project continues to grow and impact lives. Among the beneficiaries of our project are the aged and the physically challenged. Mrs. Mary Wambui is 70-year old and physically challenged. Previously, Mary never used to carry out any farming on her land as she lacks the ability to manually plant, weed, thin-out, apply fertilizers and thresh corn. She decided to try cassava cultivation which requires no weeding, thinning-out, fertilizer application or threshing. She excitedly says, "I am very satisfied with cassava farming and I will carry it on." With the mill that we purchased last year, near her, she is spared the agony of having to walk farther and spending more to get flour.
Thank you very much for your continued support.
8th Report November 30, 2012
Thank you so much for supporting Dennis Mutwiri, Nafisa Ayuko, and Michael Murigi, who have benefited greatly from the combination of university education and leadership training through community development activities. As we reported in August, graduated and is now teaching at a girls school, so we have asked Jemimah, another PATHWAYS scholar, to report on her project. The members of the communities have continued to benefit through the projects the PATHWAYS scholars have initiated. Below is an update on the specific progress they have made to improve the lives of their community members and their community environments.
Jemimah Peters report- Improvement of the local economy through developing a water source to aid food security
I would like to take this chance to give an update on my project. At the moment the poultry project implementation is going on well. After a long discussion, our women’s group decided that the poultry house would be constructed at the church compound as that is the central point and also to avoid any misunderstandings that could possibly emerge if it was constructed at a member's home. As the first phase of the poultry house construction, the members dug the foundation, and brought together the required materials like sand, construction stones and bricks. The construction has already started (see photos) and they hope to complete it in the next three weeks. From the healthy discussion they had with my fellow PATHWAYS scholars who visited my project, they have decided that they are at first going keep the local breed of chicken, unlike we had earlier planned for layers, which will be very expensive to maintain. They are very optimistic about the project and they just can't wait to see the outcome. For the farming, they had decided to transplant their seedlings once it rains as they are expecting rains. But as Alphonse, my fellow PATHWAYS scholar, shared, it is still very dry and dusty and the rivers are also dry. But they are hoping that soon it is going to rain. The members appreciate the help that the water tanks purchased earlier have been to them. Besides watering their crops it has helped the church members and especially on Sundays because the water is used for drinking and cooking among other uses. This has helped the mothers because before,it was still their responsibility every Sunday to bring water to church with jerrycans. Therefore, with water available in the tanks, it has reduced their burden and that of other community members of carrying water every Sunday. Again as a self help group which is registered, they have benefited from seminars which are normally organized by the ministry of agriculture and specifically for registered groups to learn more about ways of farming in dry areas. Even though there has been no improvement in their income as per now,they are determined to move on as they look forward to more growth and expansion of the project. With the motivation and inspiration they got from my fellow PATHWAYS scholars, Dennis,Alphonse and Brian, I know there is going to be a great improvement.
I am looking forward to communicating with you about our progress. Thank you so much for your support of our efforts to help improve our local economy.
Dennis Mutwiri’s project – Solar panels, planting trees and fish farming.
Dear Global Giving Donors and Friends,
It is my hope that you are doing well. Am also good. I traveled home and I met and spent time with my group's members. We held a meeting to review the year 2012 and discuss the way forward. We had an opportunity to analyze and discuss each of the four projects. In this report, I will shed light on each of them.
i. Fish Farming Project
I begin with appreciating your aid in fencing the pond. We bought materials to complete this work and fencing will resume after members set a day to work on this. I had reported earlier that the Ministry had supplied us with 300 fingerlings. The group had earlier made effort to put more fingerlings ahead of the Ministry's supply. In total, the pond holds approximately 700 fish with around 400 ready for sale. In terms of feeding, the Ministry provides food for the fish. In October last year, we received 100 Kg of fish feeds. This will go a long way since a grown fish consumes only 3g daily. We have appointed a chairperson who attends the fish daily and attends seminars regarding fish farming frequently.
As at now, at least two thirds of the pond's population is ready for market.
The Ministry had allocated four ponds in our location, however, it is only our pond that has survived and raised the fish. The rest failed. This has impacted us negatively in the sense that the Ministry meant to market our product in bulk. The targeted quantity is cannot be reached as at now hence the delay. My group officials are however negotiating with the responsible officers to get things done.
ii. Tree nursery Project
We realized that the most demanded trees are the exotic ones. This realization came by when the forestry department that had agreed to purchase the indigenous breed failed us. We were only able to sell very few of the trees and distributed others to members who were willing to plant them. It is from this that we put up an exotic trees nursery in September so that the trees would be ready during the April/May long rains.
In the previous season, three of our members planted 50 exotic trees from our nursery. The trees are now grown and will be of benefit soon.
iii. Solar Power Project
The project is fairly doing well. We are still carrying on green energy campaign in the region. The main challenge of late is the government's initiative to electrify rural areas under Rural Electrification Authority. This has greatly shifted the region's interests from solar to electric power. We are hoping that they will soon see some sense in what we stand for with time.
However, those who are continuing to purchase the solar kit are at the moment reaping a great deal of benefits (see photos). The member is using the power for lighting and powering a radio set (also pictured). Commercially, she charges people's mobile phones in the neighborhood at the rate of sh. 10 per phone. She uses the money to repay the solar. She says that, of late she has cut costs on fuel and charging her own phone and those the rest of the family members.
We are looking forward to intensify this trend among the members and community in general.
This project has been of immense benefit to every member in the group. Three members can now borrow sh. 10000 while five can borrow up to sh. 8000. The interest rate is still 10%. Initially, we were loaning out everything to make our capital grow. But from the 15th of this month, the members agreed that they will be banking sh. 4000 monthly to secure the project.
The group members agreed to save money in all the projects in order to start other projects like sheep rearing which is more viable and profitable.
As always, I want to extend my deep appreciation on behalf of myself and all of my community members for your constant support,
Michael Murigi’s report -Growing cassava for food security and income.
I am happy to report that our community participated in the World Food Day Celebrations by holding a public forum on cassava on 16th, October 2012 at Kigumo Divisional headquarters. During the event, hundreds were taught on the benefits of the highly nutritious and drought resistant Cassava as a food, fodder and cash crop. The community members also utilized the opportunity to sell various cassava products including doughnuts, porridge,chips, crisps (see photos of people buying and enjoying cassava products).
A few months ago I was invited to the AGRA dinner. AGRA is a group that promotes food security in Africa. It was one of the best moments in my life. Being amidst technocrats from all over Africa. From outside AGRA, Prof. Agnes Wang'ombe, the Principal, College of Agriculture, University of Nairobi and I were the only Kenyans in attendance. I was by far the youngest guest, all the others being Professors and Doctorate holders. I made a brief presentation of how we are enhancing food security through cassava . We celebrated Dr. Namanga Ngongi , from Cameroon, for his efforts towards a green revolution in Africa as the First President of AGRA. It was a wonderful experience!
Many thanks to all of you for believing in our cassava project for food security. You are making a large difference in our community!
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