Although he finished high school two years ago, poor high school grades (mostly due to frequent disruptions to his education) and insufficient family finances meant that James could not attend college and therefore stood little chance for meaningful employment.
World Renew wants young men like James to find fruitful work.
In Kenya, we partner with the Anglican Church of Kenya to implement programs that will empower young people. In Kiganjo, the Anglican Church’s Diocese of Mt. Kenya (ADS MK) operates the Kiganjo Youth Empowerment Program, and this is where James first heard that fruitful work might be possible for him. ADS MK started talking with James and 16 other youth from his village about the possibilities in farming. ADS MK promised to link them to horticultural markets where they could make a fair profit and not be exploited.
James and the other young farmers in his group took that to heart. James planted 1000 cauliflower plants, 300 local cucumber plants, and 300 celery plants!
James and the other young farmers from Mariguiti were linked to Nutrifoods, a social enterprise that would help them get their products to market, and in September James delivered his first package of cauliflower.
Each week, he is able to sell approximately 60 kgs and will do so for the next two months. From just his first two sales, James has made 7,000 KES (Kenyan shillings), about $70USD. He expects to earn 20,000 KES ($200USD) from cauliflower sales, about 40,000 KES ($400USD) from his cucumbers, and 30,000 KES ($300USD) from his celery crop.
James feels very hopeful about life going forward. “If what I have started seeing (access to markets) is sustained, I know my life will be significantly improved.” James intends to support his parents financially, especially by building them a better house. James’ parents too feel uplifted. “Just the fact that my son is hopeful in life,” says James’ mother, “is already an achievement. He was really anxious about his future, having no chance of joining college.”
Perhaps the biggest achievement of the four-year-long NADC-funded project in Ng’enda is hope. Many farmers here had given up on the availability of markets and stopped production, until they were encouraged to restart by World Renew and ADS MK. When they did try again, they were surprised and encouraged by how much product was actually sold in the local markets.
World Renew Kenya
The above story was shared with me by Patrick Nderitu, of the Ng’enda Youth Farming Project implemented by Anglican Development Services.