Food Security Program Update-17th May 2015

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pupils of Morpus primary school receiving chain links from JWW

pupils of Morpus primary school receiving chain links from JWW

The best way to empower people and the community they come from at large is by killing the spirit of dependency and expectation of free things and hand outs from the government and organizations within the region. When we give to people they end up having that mind set of ‘we are vulnerable and we are entitled to receive help’ rather than believing that they have potential and they can start with whatever small they have to better their lives. As an organization we have been struggling to kill this spirit for a long time and we are happy that participants in our various projects have realized they have the potential and we are just here to help by guiding them through trainings and assisting them attain their goals.

When we introduced the concept of cost sharing in purchasing the required farm inputs, most participants thought that we were trying to swindle them but at the moment we are happy to share that they feel good when we deliver to them an asset that is as a result of their collective effort and not just a handout from Jitokeze. We have also seen participants working hard to acquire what they need without asking for financial help from us but just for  linkages with suppliers. For instance we have participants from our poultry project who have gone ahead to purchase the eggs of the improved breed of chickens and hatched them on their own rather than waiting for the organization to supply them with the improved chicks as they had expected earlier. They say they have been given knowledge and skills which is more important and they can not keep on waiting for us to bring the chicks when they can make local arrangements and get eggs and consequently the desired chicks.

This attitude has encouraged us as an organization because it has helped us to see that our efforts are helping the community to grow towards self reliance and sustainability.

Food Security Program Update 22nd April 2016

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members of Cheptirak Women Group receiving certified seeds from JWW

members of Cheptirak Women Group receiving certified seeds from JWW

To increase food production among the groups we work with, we are working on promoting the use of certified seeds in all our demonstration plots so that participants in our various groups can get the concept and later on practice it in their farms.

Although last year we distributed drought tolerant seeds to our groups, they did not get much from the harvests because most of the crops were destroyed by goats and drought. This year however, we have encouraged groups to raise half the required costs of fencing materials which we have matched and supplied them with chain links to secure their demo sites. we have also distributed the seeds early enough to avert the adverse effects of drought after this long rains.

We are hopeful that after training farmers on sustainability and the need to save seeds once they harvest, they will be able to raise seeds from their demo site and distribute it among themselves so that they can plant in their own farms.

This year, we have supplied our groups with green grams, cow peas, maize, ground nuts and mwitamania beans seeds and all groups have started planting. the excess seeds were shared in small portions among all the participants so that they can also raise them in their farms back at home.

Food Security Program Update 2nd May 2015

Jitokeze wamama wafrika is a community based organization that works with marginalized communities in the low land areas of West pokot to improve food security in the region, enable participants engage in activities that can help them generate income as well as train them on peace and conflict transformation which is the corner stone for development.

To achieve this, we have been working with various self help groups and we can attest to the social economic benefits that members of these groups have achieved since we started working with them in our Food security program.

Kakuko SHG is one of the groups we have been working with in Batei Ward under Mr. Edwin Juma. The group had started years back as a movement against sokoria, a popular tree whose leaves are used as vegetables by most people in the low land areas of Pokot, after some girls fell off it. Members came together and started farming with the aim of producing vegetables and selling them to the community around but due to harsh climatic conditions the project did not go far.

Their dream however did not die and when Jitokeze came in the region in 2015, the 14 women and two men agreed to work with the organization in raising poultry for generating income and engaging in farming of drought tolerant crops through attending training and practicing what they have been taught in their farms.

Members share that their vegetable project had failed the first time because they did not have the knowledge which they now have. They have acquired skills in Agro forestry practices; poultry keeping and crops production which has seen them raise money and improve their living standards through farming.

Through building local brooders (chepkubes) members have been able to raise chicks and most of them have sold part of their flocks to raise money for purchasing chain links for fencing their farms. They have also been able to purchase grafted mango seedlings and tissue culture bananas which each member will be planting in her farm besides the pawpaw seedlings that they had raised in their demo site and shared among themselves.

Participants are now aware of drought tolerant crops such as cow peas, ground nuts, cassava, maize, beans and sweet potatoes and after seeing how well they did last year in the demo site, they are each going to plant some in their own farms. They thank the organization for the trainings and above all helping them meet half the required costs of purchasing farm inputs.

Apart from farming, the group also engages in making bracelets and ornaments from beads and selling them in the local market. Some members also engage in preparing herbs for treating various diseases which they also sell at the local market. The money acquired belongs to the group and it is loaned to members who later pays it back with an interest.

Mr Richard Lokuk, the group’s chairman feels they have achieved their goal because they can now feed their children, pay fees and have a little more money to save. He says all this would not have been possible without each members’ effort and contribution. He is grateful to the organization for boosting them and making it possible for them to grow and have the desire to continue growing. He shared that most people from the community around are asking to join the group but at the moment they have not yet decided if to expand the membership or create another group and share the knowledge and help them also grow just as they have been helped by jitokeze.

Income security program Update 15th March 2016

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tailoring trainees in class learning vowels and forming words

tailoring trainees in class learning vowels and forming words

Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika seeks to build women’s capacities to access resources such as income, credit, markets, agricultural inputs, as well as the social support they need to break free from the chains of poverty and vulnerability to droughts and conflicts by providing them with basic training in tailoring and sustainable agriculture.

This year we have added 17 new students most of who comes from Kapenguria, Morpus and Lomut wards. Most of these girls knew that they will just be trained in sewing products but in our desire to empower them in all spheres of life we also offer them basic computer training, agro forestry and crops production training, poultry keeping practices and basic reading and writing training along with the tailoring training.

Ruth Chelimo, one of our students and a class 6 drop out expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the organization and to all the staff members for believing in them and offering themselves to help. She shares that simple as it may sound, she did not know how to perform simple calculations or construct sentences and communicate effectively. But because of the training she is receiving, she has hope and her mind has broadened.

Just like Ruth, most of our students did not get a chance to even complete their primary education and as such they face a major challenge when it comes to reading and writing. As a result, we decided to introduce basic reading and writing classes to help them learn how to read and perform simple calculations to increase their chances in this competitive world.

Food Security Program Update-15th March 2016

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some members of Soibei SHG transferring seedlings from their nursery and putting them in tubes.

some members of Soibei SHG transferring seedlings from their nursery and putting them in tubes.

Soibei Falls Irrigation scheme Self Help Group is one of the groups we started working with late last year here in Kapenguria ward. Although participants had enough water for irrigation and large tracks of land, they were not getting much out of farming due to lack of expertise knowledge in crops production.

Mr Richard Kibet is one of the people who tried practicing agriculture but due to the low returns he was getting, he decided to quit and move to Lodwar to start up a business. He came back recently and found those he had left behind doing well and this got him curious. It was then that he learned from his father Mr. Stanley who is the Community Development committee of Soibei Falls Irrigation scheme Self Help Group that they had joined Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika and are now benefiting from trainings and certified seeds that are not readily available in the market.

Mr Kibet decided to join the group and after attending classes for just two months, he decided to close down his business and concentrate on farming. He has cleared a two acre piece of land and he is planning to plant cabbages, kales, capsicum and carrots in large scale to sell.

Kibet shares that he had lost all hope in farming considering the slope of his land that leads to soil erosion during rainy seasons but now he has learnt that he can use contour ridges and plant cover crops like nappier grass which will double up as feeds to his cow that he is planning to buy.

Although Soibei SHG practices pure crop productions, Kibet has also showed his interest in poultry keeping and he has been sacrificing his free time to attend poultry training being offered to another group. Kibet believes in the power of knowledge and he is glad he came back on time and is also grateful to the organization for offering trainings to people.

At the moment, soibei SHG is preparing tree nurseries and putting seedlings in tubes for their agro forestry project. they have raised pawpaw, eucalyptus, Cyprus and gravelier seedlings. this seedlings will be planted in the group demo site, sold to other farmers and some will be distributed to each participant to plant in individual farms.