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Amazing results from JNI-sponsored farming project in Africa

A few weeks ago, we published a story about how the Gideons Empowerment Project results ceremony went. Most who read that article will have known about the project and about Gideons orphanage (who hosted and organised it). If you don’t, and you want to find out more about this JNI-sponsored farming incentive or the incredible work done at Gideons, you can do so here.

Suffice it to say that the project was a means of alleviating poverty in Ramba, western Kenya, and that it produced some truly incredible results. In this article, we intend to outline those results.

One hundred landowners were initially enrolled in the 2020 programme and all of them saw a significant return from their land. In order to be enrolled, project enrolees had to own only one acre of land and be genuinely in need of help. The team at Gideons sent out inspectors to each plot before the project began in order to ensure that everyone actually needed the financial aid supplied.

What these inspectors found were plots of land that were often so rocky they seemed, at first, to be unworkable. They found families who – due to illness or injury – were unable to effectively work their holding. They found people who, on their one acre, often failed to fill one 90kg sack with maize.

Many, and indeed this was quite well-known, would often only fill a few small tins.

Those enrolled in the GEP, however, did far better.

The average number of sacks produced by the farmers involved in the GEP was nearer to 12 sacks. For a western audience, it might be difficult to imagine the scope of this success. One sack of maize can generally be expected to feed one individual for between 2 and 3 months.

Of course, some will sell their sacks. That, indeed, was part of the incentive. And some will be returned to the hungry mouths at the orphanage. Even so, these were incredible, life-changing results.

Everyone was a winner

A few weeks ago, the GEP enrolees met at Gideons orphanage for what was nominally to be considered an award ceremony. The project had been thought up as a competition with the prize going to the owner of the plot with the largest yield.

The results of the competition were, with all the smiling faces we witnessed, almost immaterial. Of course, winning it brought a smile to the face of the first-place recipient Olga Odhiambo, but not so big a one that was already there from having harvested 16 sacks of maize.

The day was really a chance to celebrate the success of all applicants. It gave the community an opportunity to reaffirm the lessons learnt. It was a chance for old participants to share what they’d found out, to catch up, and it was a chance for the new enrolees to learn a little about what it takes to be successful within the GEP.

For those who had donated and who watched the live-stream from the UK and the US, it was a chance to see the incredible work that can be done with a little push in the right direction.

As the day came to a close, thoughts turned to the next GEP programme. A full two hundred new participants will have now been added to the Gideons Empowerment Project. That is two hundred more vulnerable people being given a new lease of life, a new means of escaping the evils of poverty.

The first iteration of the GEP was a huge success, a truly mind-blowing and effective use of charity. This writer looks forward to seeing what can be done for those that enrolled for next year and wants to take the time to thank everyone who donated.

Your donations have truly, absolutely, and with obvious evidence changed lives!

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