JNI in Africa: Fundraising campaign for Kenyan start-ups moves into PHASE TWO
A few months ago, back in August, we launched the Gideon’s Empowerment Project (GEP) in Ramba, Kenya. The project, which is being funded by friends, employees, and clients of JNI, has been designed to continue the much-needed development of the community in Western Kenya which, until now, has been plagued by poverty and desperation.
If you want to find out all there is to know about this amazing project, you can read our launch article which covers all the ins and outs of the GEP including how it works, who is behind it, and what we hope it leads to.
If you don’t have time to read that article but are still interested, the GEP is a fundraising campaign designed to raise £20,000 for 100 agricultural start-ups in the community around Gideon’s orphanage. It will provide 100 landowners with the expertise and equipment to cultivate the land and provide the community with food whilst also recycling some of the profits toward the agricultural experts and the kids at the orphanage who are an integral part of the project we have helped build.
A special mention must go out to Ruth Obuon, Elly Ngoe, Kevin Ogendo and Kevin Omala who will be providing their agricultural expertise to the project and helping to make sure it is a resounding success for the community. In return, their efforts will be rewarded when the crop is eventually harvested.
Long before the GEP was officially launched, our experts out in Kenya conducted various surveys to assess the feasibility of the project and how exactly it was to be executed. The results from these surveys were decisive. The community of Ramba and its surrounding areas contain a large proportion of destitute individuals. Widows, who have been working their whole lives, and are now unable to feed themselves. The sick and vulnerable, who don’t have the necessary support mechanisms in place to feed themselves. Widowers, who must provide for their large family all alone.
It is the kind of project that can revolutionise an area and really impact the standard of living for the entire community. One of the consequences of the pandemic was that local people were unable to access food in the local markets due to curfews and restrictions and this resulted in many people going hungry. Regular readers of our blog will know about the story of Justine Kamire, an extremely elderly woman, who walked many miles in the hot sun just to make it to the orphanage in desperate need of food and water.
We hope that the GEP will make sure something like that never happens again and will provide the community with, at the fundamental level, a subsistent lifestyle but hopefully even more.
In a recent phone call with Newton Atela, we discussed the project’s progression from phase one to phase two. He was genuinely excited about the next phase and what it means for the community.
During phase one, the land, which has been divided up into 100 plots of one acre each, was cleared of rocks and bushes and then plowed. Clearing the land was a vital and also time-consuming process but with the tools and expertise provided by the GEP, it has been completed in a manner that we hope leads to good results in the first year of harvesting.
As of right now, the project is in phase two where the land has been de-weeded again. Those of you who tend to your own gardens will know that de-weeding is a never-ending task. After the de-weeding was completed, the project moved onto the second stage of phase two, planting and fertilising the land. This is an ongoing process that can take anywhere between a few weeks and a few months, but as you can see from the image above, the crops are already beginning to grow. Now, the farmers will have to wait for the right time to begin phase three of the project.
Phase three, as you might have guessed, will involve the harvesting and storage of the crop yield. Part of the GEP is the agreement that the farmers will be allowed to keep 80% of their crop yield which will allow them to feed their family and other dependents for a year and also allow them to re-sow the fields for the following year. The remaining 20% will be recycled through the program by going to the agricultural experts and the orphanage.
As we mentioned in the launch article, the GEP is a fantastic opportunity for the village of Ramba. The orphanage has become the focal point of the community and has attracted some much-needed funding to help some of the most destitute members of the surrounding areas.
The GEP is a fantastic opportunity to break the cycle of dependence and provide the families and groups that compose this fantastic village with the opportunity to reach subsistence and independence.
It is an ambitious project, and it waits to be seen how successful it will be. As with any agricultural project, there are so many variables and factors that are out of human control, all of which can affect the final crop yield.
Whilst this is a big step in the right direction, the community still needs all the help it can get. If you have been touched by this story or any of our other stories about Gideon’s Orphanage, please consider a small donation. The details for this will be below.
If you want to help the peoples of Ramba build for themselves the means to escape their own poverty, text JOY to 70085 and donate £5 per month. A small sum for a life-changing contribution or contact Sophie@Awaken Love to donate directly firstname.lastname@example.org