Maragua Division, Kenya
Our cassava project to increase food security and improve the economic situation of my community members has been progressing extremely well over the last year. I want to tell you about two of my community members, Mrs. Njoki and Mr. Maina, who have benefitted in a significant way.
Mrs Martha Njoki was widowed 10 years ago. She inherited a piece of land measuring 2 acres. Ever since, she could not afford to cultivate her land due to large amount of costs incurred and frustrations involved with corn growing. Last year, she decided to venture into the cost -effective and much profitable cassava farming. She received free cuttings from the project. Her whole land is now under cassava. She sells a part of her produce raw, while the rest she grinds into flour at the mill you helped us acquire. She uses the cassava flour for her own domestic consumption and sells the extra to some of her neighbors. She says," The cassava project has enabled me to utilize the only resource that my late husband left behind. This has put some good money into my pocket." Please see the photos of Martha at the mill for the grinding of her produce.
The other community member I would like to tell you about is Mr. Charles Maina a 35-year old father of 6 children. To fend for his family, he had been working as an on-and -off casual labourer, picking coffee berries in an estate at Thika, 23 Kilometres away. When you helped us acquire a mill, Mr. Maina asked to work as the operator. He now earns Ksh. 5,000 (about $63) monthly, much higher salary and a more stable position than what he did previously. Mr. Maina says," Out of this higher and more stable income that I now receive, I am sure to save enough to educate my children and secure them a better future!"
When the workload intensifies, particularly during harvest seasons, we hire 2 more people to assist the operator. More importantly, the mill provides indirect employment to many others. These include small businesses milling flour for preparing and selling doughnuts, chapattis, porridge and other dishes.
I am grateful to have this opportunity to help make a change in my community. Thank you for helping us !! We feel the future is bright.
With heartfelt gratitude,
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