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
Dear GlobalGiving Friends,
The girl mentorship project has enormously served girls in our community, particularly in the area of computer training competence. In the month of April we engaged six girls who went through a two weeks intensive computer training course. The girls (two in high school and four post high school) were also mentored on career choices and taught about business skills. We were privileged to have a health and nutritional expert who trained the girls on hygiene, sex education as well as diet and nutrition matters. There were practical classes where the girls went to the garden to identify different foods and answer questions concerning nutritional values of such foods as well as discuss different ways in which such foods could be prepared. One girl was motivated to start a career in food production following one practical lesson. She explained, “I did not know bananas can be prepared to make up to seven different form of meals – I only ate it ripe or boiled, thank you to SAWA for giving me a business idea – Kinya”
Since the inception of the program last year we have had 15 direct beneficiaries, including two girls who have been temporarily employed to work with the parent women’s group SAWA. Each of the 15 girls has impacted at least two more girls in their communities making a total of 30 indirect beneficiaries. Our main immediate goal is to acquire more computers to cater for more girls during the holiday and also purchase a printer/scanner to facilitate our work.
With my sincere gratitude for your support in this effort to improve opportunities for young girls,
Maragua Division, Kenya
Our cassava project to increase food security and improve the economic situation of my community members has continued to do well and help persons earn a better income. I want to tell you about two of my community members, who have benefitted.
Isaac Mburu is a 22- year old young man from Murang'a. He recently joined college to study a diploma course in Mechanical Engineering. Last October, Isaac requested his parents to allow him to grow his own cassava on their land. We offered him cuttings to plant on a half acre plot. Isaac plans to rent a larger plot with the proceeds from his investment. He says," I am sure to make enough money to offset some of the expenses in college." See photo of Isaac inspecting his crop.
Mrs. Ekila Wanjiku is a community member who, upon realizing the popularity that cassava products have gained in the area, opened a restaurant business that is majorly dealing with cassava based foods. Ekila sells cassava chapattis, doughnuts and porridge at her new business situated in the village market. She excitedly says, " The business is doing well and I would encourage my fellow women to set up such businesses now that we are growing cassavas in our own plots and milling is available and cheap." See photo of Mrs. Wanjiku in her resuarant.
Kenya has recently adopted a devolved system of government with political power decentralized to the various counties. Every county government is supposed to drive development in the respective county. Murang'a county is rural with poverty and food insecurity being some of its major challenges. We were privileged to host some of the county government officials in a visit to the project. They wanted to learn about cassava farming and its socio-economic benefits. We strive to set pace to the rest of the County in conquering poverty and food insecurity. See photo of officials during their visit.
I am grateful to have this opportunity to help make a change in my community. Thank you for helping us !! We feel inspire by your support.
With heartfelt gratitude,