Meet Julia. At 69…a poor widow…even by Kenyan standards. The mother of 7…still caring for 3 orphans. Living day to day. Their survival dependent on subsistence farming the family land, her ‘Shamba’, and working for neighbours.
When we met her, early in 2015, she had lost all hope of life getting any better. There was no food - the area was in drought, the crops had failed…. Julia and her family were literally starving. Living as a victim of ‘Climate Change’ - regular cycles of drought and floods. Eating whatever ‘seed’ they had today, with no thought for tomorrow. Perishing for a lack of knowledge. Knowledge that would have shown her how to use the land she had, her only real asset, more effectively.
Through the PottersHeart training on farming and business her eyes were opened to the potential that lay all around her. She was inspired to use the land differently. To try growing crops that were more suited to the drought conditions. And to plan to grow more than she needed to feed just her family….then to sell the excess for profit.
Creating a Vision....
Together with her fellow students Julia formed ‘Vision’ - a small farming co-operative. Still in its early stages, they are now working together…encouraging each other, pooling resources for the good of the community. And most importantly they have a vision for the future.
By each contributing £3.00 per month, they are able to buy a chicken and a goat for each member of the group. Any kids born are sold only with group agreement. Money raised goes back to the group - either to be shared or invested.
They now have visions of being able to produce enough eggs to sell. Visions of upgrading to pedigree goats. Goats which produce 6 times more milk than their current ones…again to sell.
They have agreed a plan and they are working together to achieve it. They are able to see beyond the next meal, and not just their own needs.
As Julia says : “Before the PottersHeart training to have a chicken was a dream. But then we sold the chicken or ate it when we had no food. They showed us that to build a business you have to think about tomorrow.”
They now have hope : “We believe in this dream and are confident of success, our efforts will be rewarded. Our children and grandchildren will go to school, and we will have food”.