web pix 3“Since the start of this project on food security I have gained several breakthroughs which have changed my mindset completely. Cultivation of draught resistant grops has benefited me immensly. Food is no longer a luxury like before. This has brought joy and delight in my household.

The training received from the church and barazas has showed me new doors of prosperity. This stimulated our curiousity to try out the practices. We formed a youth group called Sinaya Youth Group comprising 26 members. This union has enhanced exchange of productive techniques and has made us think collectively as a group.

I started planting other drought resistant crops like cow peas, cassava, sweet potato,  pumpkins, onions and bananas that are fit to this ecological conditions, something I was previously not aware of. This has enabled me gain substantial skills in crop preparation and management. My family really enjoys variety and more nutritous meals.

My living standards have tremendously changed from being a mere farmer who runs out of food year after another; to a more reliable farmer who has food supply irrespective of the month or season. The income level and health of my family has improved. My challenge now is on the choice of meal to have because there is plenty to choose from. I used to have one meal a day or even none sometimes, but today I can enjoy three meals. Hosting a visitor today is a joy because I’ll have a good meal for them.

The whole community has experienced the same changes as we widely share and exchange views and discuss issues together. We always meet at the posho mills, after the church service and during our ‘chama’ meetings. Our area Chief, his assistant and Ministry extension workers have encouraged  us more and promised to work with us closely.

Unlike in the past when the youth and women were silent and only restricted to homestead chores, they have now become active participants during barazas and other workshops. Their position in the development in the community is beginning to take shape.

Through my improved income status from the sale of the surpluses, I have gained confidence in lobbying and advocating to the members of the society of the treasure hidden in this project.

I am now willing and ready to use my experinece to educate those still languishing in hunger and doubt, to rise up and adopt the farming of these crops and move away from buying food at exorbitant prices which renders them poor and hungry.

This project I bet will reduce poverty, family/gender based violence, mulnutrition in our families hence improved health, living standards, harmony and education for all. We thank OAIC for the invaluable support, friendship and partnership with us. May the Almighty God open more productive doors of abundance.”

Selina C. Saban

27 years old

Farmer and beneficiary of the Livelihoods project

West Pokot

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“As you can see delight on my face, it depicts a lot- a young farmer who sows, manages, preserves, consumes and eventually sells surplus to the needy neighbours The project on planting drought resistant crops combined with the training given was a turning point. The stereotype attached to youth and farming was something I never imagined I would one day come to love.

May farm now has sorghum, onions, cabbage, beans, millet and amaranthus and they are flourishing. I have gained sufficient skills in land preparation, planting, addition of farm yard manure, and harvesting. We used to think that inorganic  fertilizer was the ultimate solution to food shortage but now we apply manure from our animals hence the food in organically prepared and produced.

My state of living is quite smooth, less stressful and full of joy. I can buy less from the market place. I have a poultry farm where I harvest eggs and eat meat at my own pleasure. My siblings are going to school with less stress and I now spend less on medical care.  Hunger in my family is no longer and issue. My wallet is heavy everyday from the sale of vegetables which are in excess  as I am running a small vendor business of my fresh produce at the nearest centre.

Our daily discussions with the neighbours and memories of the challenges and ignorance we had in the past on the value attached to the farming of draught resistant crops. We have now come out of that ignorance and are more enlightened. Representatives from the National and County governments have also pledged to support us on this noble course.

I can now testify to members of the public on the importance of attending training workshops to adopt new techniques. I have seen the immense change the project has done for me at personal level.

In conclusion, food is food, and food comes from farming and farming needs energetic individuals who are eager to reduce hunger and generally poverty. Thank you OAIC for your concern to take us out of bondage of food security and other related plights.

Joel L. Kating’ole

25 years old

Farmer and beneficiary of the Livelihoods project

West Pokot

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