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 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 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!
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PATHWAYS Leadership for Progress