Building leaders using education & local projects

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Jun 14, 2011

Report #1

Dennis's solar panel project

Global Giving Report #1

Dear Donors,

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.

Dennis Mutwiri’s project Solar panels, planting trees and fish farming.

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.

Nafisa Ayuka’s report -  Improvement of girl child education through raising poultry and sanitary towels.

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.

Michael Murigi’s report -Growing cassava for food security and income.

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.

Dennis's solar panel project
Nafisa's sanitary towel project
Nafisa's poultry project
Michael's cassava project_women working
Michael's cassava project_Michael w/ Mrs. Kaimenyi



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Project Leader

Angie Gust

PATHWAYS Leadership for Progress
Lilburn, GA Kenya

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