Our three PATHWAYS scholars are doing well in university and continuing to work on their community projects. Nafisa is a senior at the University of Nairobi and just finished her student teaching at St. Clares Maragoli Girls Secondary School. She is looking forward to graduating next year and starting her teaching career. Dennis and Michael are both juniors at the University of Nairobi, majoring in Economics and have both returned home to their communities for the holiday break. Below is a brief update on their community projects. Your support is helping them become leaders through working to improve their communities.
The sewing project is doing well. The group members informed me that they have completed the second bundle of sanitary towels and they are going to give them out soon as gifts to the girls. This will be part of a celebration together.
Families are now enjoying the goat and poultry projects because they can now sell part of what they have helping them earn income for necessities and even Christmas presents.
I was completed an internship with through with internship with Solidarity for the Advancement of Women group which was a very enlightening experience. Now I am half way through the first semester of my fourth year. Time has moved so fast and I hope to graduate next year and get a job immediately and continue to support my community project.
I appreciate your support to me and my project!
The introduction of the solar or green energy has been going very well. Training of the group members on the installation and operation of solar appliances has been ongoing and the community is continuing to be sensitized on the merits of using solar energy. The solar kit has been used for lighting, powering radios and charging mobile phones. Community members have earned 60000 KSH from sale of solar panels and batteries(Gross).
The 25M by 15M pond dugout pond has been a benefit to our members. Proceeds from selling the fish have helped families pay their children’s school fees.
Our micro-credit program is going well too. Members are finding they can start income generating projects, they said it has really helped them become more stable financially.
You have made a large difference to the members of our community!
As you may have heard there is famine in East Africa including our area of Kenya. Our cassava project has been able to bring residents together to fight the this food scarcity in a way that has never been experienced before. Women organize themselves in groups to work in each other's cassava plots.
This is to make sure that everyone is taking cassava cultivation seriously. This has brought cohesion and hope that the community can also solve the other challenges facing it, communally.
Cassava has revolutionized preparation of foods during ceremonies in our community. Due to the high cost of wheat flour, women have been grinding their dried cassava using the traditional mortar and pestle. This flour is used to prepare chapattis and porridge during ceremonies.
On another note, our PATHWAYS vice president, Dr. Mbaabu Mathiu, sent a team of water experts to our village to find out of a borehole can be dug to successfully produce water. Everybody was very happy especially women and children who have to trek long distances in search of water. The community was very hopeful that they get a nearer and reliable source of water. The area Chief has also written an official letter authorizing the use of the public
ground for a community water project. We are very thankful and hopeful that the twin problem in the area - food and water shortage -is solved soon.
Thank you for supporting our community. We are extremely grateful to you!
Global Giving Report #3
Thank you so much for supporting Dennis Mutwiri, Nafisa Ayuko, and Michael Murigi, all bright but needy students who are PATHWAYS Scholars at the University of Nairobi. Each has continued to succeed academically awhile simulataneously leading a community project. Please see below from them what is going on with their projects, It is exciting to see young people like them develop into leaders to help their country.
My project is doing quite well. Thirty girls have benefited from the sanitary towels in Nabwani primary school. A packet of 8 sanitary towels were given to each girl to support her for the next 2 years. It was very difficult for the girls to purchase the sanitary towels, so we decide to give them for free to needy students because keeping them to sell does not help when a girl is missing school somewhere because of lack of the sanitary towels. The girls are very happy and we intend to teach them the simple skills in making the sanitary towels so that they can make their own.
The sewing machines are continuing to help the women in acquiring the skills in sewing, although it is taking them a while to learn. They all appreciate the fact that their daughters can go to school without any difficulty because they have the sanitary towels. Their sons also benefit because they can sew uniforms, bags, and other clothing for them cheaply. The women are really owning the project.
The goat/sheep rearing is also thriving. Families are able to get milk. Other community members are happy that when the number of the animals increases, they will own a cow, goat, or sheep.
Women in our group are happy about all of skills they have acquired including making the compost from manure in their farms. Our group is continuing to grow and we are comparing and looking at which food crop to adopt so that we can be able to solve any cases of hunger in the community.
You have really changed lives in my community! Thank you!-Nafisa
My community group members have made a great effort and completed the fencing of the fish pond. The pond now looks great and is secure, thanks to all of you!
We have embarked on loaning out solar panels to group members who are willing and cannot afford them in cash. We are also planning to buy more solar batteries and let members access them on credit. They will be paying a commitment fee of Ksh. 1000 and thereafter Ksh. 715 monthly for 8 months for a 20watts solar panel. A member is required to bank the money in the group's bank account and present a banking slip to the treasurer; this will counter misappropriation and defaults. The first loan-out will be on 15th September this year. We hope all will go well per the plan.
We have started some fresh tree nurseries following the drying up of the previous one during the prolonged drought. The current one is doing well and we hope it will be fruitful. The micro-credit project is thriving with members benefiting more and more from the flexible and convenient access to funds. I went to see the projects in person and when I asked them of their regard of the micro-credit, they all said it was a big boost to them individually, and their families too. Most of them are farmers. Once they get the loans, they invest the money in agriculture. However, one of our members opted to start shop in the village to add to the income he was getting from farming. He borrowed Ksh. 8 000 and started off. He is so far doing good. Another member borrowed sh 5000 to purchase a solar battery from the group's green energy project and now she uses solar energy for lighting and powering her phone, radio, etc. She says that her family is now more comfortable with unlimited power and how economic the solar power is.
Many thanks for your kind donations!-Dennis
I wish to inform you that our project has continued to attract the attention of the media. The Royal Media Services, the biggest media house in Kenya, prepared a documentary about the project last month. This was meant for broadcast on its 9 vernacular radio stations that target the rural populations of the various tribes. They aired the achievements of the project in enhancing food security in our community. Women provided testimonies on how cassava has revolutinized their lives.
As the project leader, I was invited to Inooro FM for their breakfast show on 23rd, September 2011,to discuss the influence of cassava on the rural economy based on experiences from my community group. It was quite an honor.
My goal, with your help, is to transition the entire country from growing primarily maize (not drought resistant) to growing primarily cassava (drought resistant) to make sure we do not have to experience famine in this country again.
Thank you for helping with this project!- Michael
Global Giving Report #2
Thank you so much for supporting Dennis Mutwiri, Nafisa Ayuko, and Michael Murigi, all bright but needy students who are PATHWAYS Scholars at the University of Nairobi. Each has continued to succeed academically and also has continued to work very hard on their PATHWAYS community projects. The projects have all progressed well as initial plans have been implemented and new ideas put forth. Below is an update on the specific progress they have made to improve the lives of their community members and their community environments.
Dennis Mutwiri’s project – Solar panels, planting trees and fish farming.
The fencing of the fish pond was delayed a little bit because of the heavy rain in Nanyuki. However, my members have made a great effort and completed it, apart from a 10 meter stretch that we hope to complete in the next half (see photo). The pond now looks great and secure, thanks to Global Giving and PATHWAYS! My members have greatly appreciated the donation and the efforts of all of the contributors.
We have started some fresh tree nurseries following the drying up of the previous one during the pro-longed drought. The current one is doing well and we hope it will be fruitful. The micro-credit project is thriving with members benefiting more and more from the flexible and convenient access to funds. I went to see the projects in person last weekend on 13th August, and when I asked them of their regard of the micro-credit, they all said it was a big boost to them individually, and their families too. They appreciate all the other projects equally. Most of them are farmers. Once they get the loans, they invest the money in agriculture. However, one of our members opted to start shop in the village to add to the income he was getting from farming. He borrowed Ksh. 8 000 and started off. He is so far doing good. Another member borrowed Ksh 5000 to purchase a solar battery from the group's green energy project and now she uses solar energy for lighting and powering her phone, radio and television sets. She says that her family is now more comfortable with unlimited power and how economical it is.
Nafisa Ayuka’s report - Improvement of girl child education through raising poultry and sanitary towels.
In addition to the sanitary towels, my group is interested in using the new sewing machines just purchased with PATHWAYS and Global Giving contributions (see photo) not only to make sanitary towels but also to sew clothes for babies and use it as a business. Relying on sanitary towels for sewing may not be profitable enough because sometimes we will have to give sanitary towels for free if the girls cannot afford to buy just to enable them go to school which is our main goal.
We will be buying the other machine next week since the idea that they want also to learn sewing is good when they come together. This will also enable them to sew uniforms cheaply for their boys and girls as they go to school so that at the end of the day they can read comfortably in good uniforms with the girls having the sanitary towels.
There is another issue that is serious in Kenya, this is the issue of HUNGER. That is why I am thinking of also advising my group members to plant cassava (like Michael- below) and potatoes since they keep on planting maize which is currently not doing well because the soils have been drained all the nutrients of maize crop and other crops could do better.
Michael Murigi’s report -Growing cassava for food security and income.
One of our community members, Mrs. Peris Njuguna, is the breadwinner of her family of 6 (see photo). Her husband like many others in the area, engages in illicit liquour (chang'aa) drinking and is rarely sober. He cannot cater for his family and the whole burden has to be borne by the wife. She has been working as a casual labourer in a coffee estate near the area.
Mrs.Peris Njuguna was one of the first members to join our group. She took note of Dr. Kamau's (expert in agriculture and cassava) insistence about the overwhelming demand of cassavas from the Asian community in Nairobi, who have even had to import. After her crop matured, she harvested and took it to Nairobi where it was bought within no time. She thought of how she would engage in active cassava business, buying cassava roots from farmers whose cassava matures. Now, she and 2 other women, buy cassava roots at Ksh. 1,000.00 per bag and sell to the Asians in Nairobi at Ksh. 3,000.00.
Using the profits of the business, she was able to enroll her daughter for high school education in February. She says, "My next step is to buy dairy cows that will feed on cassavas from my farm."
Thank you for your continued support. You are changing lives for the better!
Global Giving Report #1
Thank you so much for supporting Dennis Mutwiri, Nafisa Ayuko, and Michael Murigi, all bright but needy students who are PATHWAYS Scholars at the University of Nairobi. Each has continued to succeed academically and also has worked diligently on their PATHWAYS community projects. The projects have all progressed well as initial plans have been implemented and expanded. Below is an update on the specific progress they have made to improve the lives of their community members and their community environments.
The solar panel project is doing well, the panels have been acquired and installed and the project members are actively engaged in communicating to the community the benefits of using green energy. We are establishing a means to sell the panels to members and providing training on how to install and use the panels. Those who don't own panels will be allowed a loan from the merry-go-round (community micro-loan fund) that they will re-pay at low interest rates. The solar panes are used to charge small electronic devices
The tree planting project has been implemented, nursery beds have been prepared and this season we are planting the non-indigenous trees whose demand is higher. This will generate added income for the community as sales will produce higher revenue. We also have planted trees and also grass around the fish pond (see below).
A third component has been added to the project – fish farming. A 25M x 15M pond has been dug and stocked with 400 fingerlings. The pond has a capacity of 1000 fish, which will be harvested after six months for sale, generating income to restock and a small profit for community members. We plan to fence the fish pond area in the coming year to improve security.
Generally, the project is thriving and the members are working in unison and harmony which shows that the group's administration is on the right track. We are looking forward to achieving our development goals for the coming year.
The chief goals of this project are to improve girl child education through raising poultry to earn money for school fees and supplying of re-usable sanitary towels to girls since many miss school because of their monthly periods. In the past few months a demonstration project has been accomplished in sewing and providing reusable sanitary towels for 20 members, 8 sanitary towels each. The next phase is to be sewing reusable sanitary towels in larger quantities and selling them to the nearby schools to generate income for the girls. This will provide the girls much needed economic stability to facilitate staying in school rather than very early marriage.
The poultry project has also been successful generating income from raising and selling chickens of 5,000KSh ($62) per month, and all participating members have benefited from this activity. Some of these funds go toward school fees.
Additionally, the community has a merry go round to support buying a goat or sheep. To date six members have benefited from it. finally, all members have benefited from our side project of composting manure for improved crop yields.
The cassavas project is off to a great start. A large demonstration plot with some four varieties of cassava is thriving, and the demonstration plot has now become a very good example of cassava production and a training ground for those in the community who adopt the crop. The potential food and income value of cassava especially in a draught stricken region was manifest by viewing the thriving cassava fields adjacent to corn that was stunted or withering. In view of this clear potential value, more than 100 families in the community are now growing cassava distributed to them by the project. Additionally, it is encouraging that some cassava roots are being sold at a profit in Nairobi, with three women acting as middlewomen in obtaining roots at Ksh.1000 (about $12) per 90kg bag which can be sold for Ksh. 3,000 (about $36).
As an example of the project's impact in the community, Mrs. Peris Njuguna is the breadwinner of her family of 6. Her husband like many others in the area, engages in illicit liquour (chang'aa) drinking and is rarely productive. He cannot cater for his family and the whole burden has to be borne by the wife. She had been working as a casual laborer in a coffee estate near the area. Mrs. Njuguna was one of the first members to join the cassava project group group. She took note of the report by a visiting expert, Dr. Kamau, regarding the overwhelming demand of cassavas from the Asian community in Nairobi, who have even had to import. After her crop matured, she harvested and took it to Nairobi where it was bought within no time. She thought of how she would engage in active cassava business, buying cassava roots from farmers whose cassava matures. Now, she and two other women, buy cassava roots and sell in Nairobi for a profit. Using the profits of the business, she was able to enroll her daughter for high school education in February. She says, "My next step is to buy dairy cows that will feed on cassavas from my farm. My life has been transformed by this cassava growing initiative.”
Thank you for your past and continued support of this leadership development and community empowerment initiative.
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PATHWAYS Leadership for Progress