Thank you so much for supporting Jemimah Peters, Dennis Mutwiri, Michael Murigi, who are progressing towards completion of their university studies while also contributing to the uplifting of their communities. The community members are working to make their projects sustainable long term. Below is an update on the specific progress they have made in the last few months.
I am glad to report to you that our project is now able to sustain itself. This is as expected of a PATHWAYS scholar completing their undergraduate course. As you know, our milling business follows the social enterprise model. Profit accumulation is NOT our primary goal. We charge very lowly to encourage farmers to mill their cassava and enjoy a diverse utility of their crop. However, with the little profits accruing, we are able to facilitate maintenance of the machines, payment of rental fees, operator salary. In addition, we are able to support other activities within the project. This project and the support from you and the GlobalGiving community has helped our community to increase its income long term. This increase in income translates into increased health and education for the community.
You are making a huge difference in the lives of my community members.
We are grateful!
Am doing very fine and my family is also well. School is going well even though I am quite busy at the moment with assignments and C.A.Ts. I also play chess as an extracurricular activity and traveled to Tanzania for a competition.
About my project, we completed the construction of the poultry house. In the mean time, the women’s group has 13 chickens in the chicken house each member has contributed one. They are still debating whether to keep layers or broilers. I was able to talk to the chair-lady of the group and another member and they had almost the same thing to say. From the chair-lady: the project has done a lot for her. From the crops that they have been growing, she has been benefiting in that, with few or no other places to get the vegetables in dry seasons, they have been getting them from their plot at a very cheap cost or no cost at all. She says thanks to Pathways and GlobalGiving, this has been made possible by the availability of the water tanks. She says, through the activities that they are undertaking in the project, she has learned to be self reliant and to work hard for herself. She adds that, through the inspiration of the project, she has started a small business of selling fruits and she earns some few coins from it.As the chairlady of the women group, she has attended several seminars and trainings to represent the group and learned various skills. For instance, she says that they were trained on how to make clay jikos which conserve wood by a certain NGO, but the problem is the soil type in the surrounding as its not the type for making the jikos. Whatever she implies is that, being part of such a self-help group has helped her and the other members be recognized and considered in important events. She says that she has benefited from the group in that,besides doing their project activities, they help each other and other community members in any activity that needs a group assistance for a small fee.This,she says has helped her and many others. Finally she says, “we are just about to start selling eggs and earn money.”
The other member basically has the same story to tell but mainly emphasizes on the fact that they have water, which they are using for their young seedlings and poultry. They don't have to go fetching water in the rivers which are already drying up after it has not rained for just a few weeks. Overall, they are doing great and they are happy about the project.
Thank you for helping to uplift my community.
Due to PATHWAYS and GlobalGiving we now have 5 000 seedling tree and fruit nurseries, the fish pond which has a population of appx 1 000 fish, the solar panel project and a merry go round loan program. All of these projects are making a great progress. The support from the community is enormous. Perhaps an amazing impact of the project which was not envisaged is the development of leadership skills among the group members. Janet Nkatha, the group chair could not hide her joy for what the group interaction has made her. “When I joined this group, I was very shy, I could not stand before people, I had no confidence, my self esteem was extremely low. Two years down the line I am a changed person, with a totally outgoing personality. I am now an officer in charge of Kongo Acheke sub-location, a post that was previously reserved for men. I have learnt that women too can be effective leaders and want to set an example to our girls”
You have greatly impacted our community- thank you!
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,
Dear Global Giving Friends,
Two weeks ago, I visited one of the our mentees who joined university in October to establish how the mentorship helped her to fit in the university. Esther, is grateful that she built strong values and was introduced to gender and human (particularly) women rights issues at SAWA. She shares a room with a girl from North Eastern Kenya, and has been able to adjust living with her because SAWA helped her to embrace diversity. In her own words "I never valued people from other communities, I stereotyped them, I regarded women from disadvantaged communities as primative and would not have imagined friendship with them leave alone living together. At SAWA I was made to understand that we are all equal. I liked the Girl Effect lessons and know I can make a change in a girl's life. I no longer consider myself poor and disadvantaged because I was empowered to see my strengths."
These were powerful words for a rural girl who spent only two months with us. Her perspectives speaks volumes of the impact of our program. Esther formed a group of eight girls from her university to meet together on Sunday afternoons to discuss leadership issues. She reminded me that SAWA inspired her to register as a voter and she is eager to vote come the general elections on March 4th. She also inspired others to register as voters too, bearing in mind that the youth have in the past years taken a back seat as far as this is concerned. Esther had this to say "We discuss the qualities we want of our leaders in our meetings using the wisdom I gained from SAWA. I am the group chair, and I coordinate the group using principles acquired during the program"
Agnes is also another young girl that SAWA is mentoring. In early January, she participated in our program for three days and the impact was overwhelming. She drastically acquired superb computer skills which she uses to communicate particularly with other SAWA girls that she met. She plans to continue with her mentorship with us when she breaks for her long holiday in May this year.
Currently we are mentoring two girls that Caroline, our full time officer is training on computer skills and business skills.
With my sincere gratitude for your support in this effort to improve the opportunities for young girls,