Making a Difference
I am Jacinta Wanja Ciomiti. I live in Kinangop in Kenya. I and my six brothers and sisters were brought up in a single room. I was educated in a local school where I learnt about Agriculture. I started farming with Ksh. 500 and 1/8 of an Acre my mother gave me. There were many challenges; but I believed I could succeed. I planted flowers for export. The first harvest made Ksh 5000 enabling me to rent 2 acres and enabled me to expand. Within the first year a large number of people, especially young people followed what I was doing. I have helped many of them get started.
One person I helped was Sophie who was 70, when I met her in 2010 she was desperate. She had a family but they had abandoned her in the village. She was alone with nothing to eat depending on well wishers who visited her occasionally. She had lost hope, and often went to bed hungry. After I attended a course in Bio Intensive Agriculture in Manor House in Kitale in 2012, I learnt I did not require a big farm to grow vegetables and have chickens. I thought of Mum Sophie, she has a small plot of land where she lives. I trained her starting with two chickens that she reared in her small house. After two months they started laying eggs, which we agreed she would not eat but sell to me so that she could buy food. After six months she was able to construct a chicken house and now has over thirty chickens, she can go to the market and is able to buy what she needs. She is now one of my trainers and has trained three women of her age in chicken rearing. They are now able to support themselves.
I am proud of Farmers Dialogue, it has helped me change many people’s lives. I am training women in Table Banking. This brings together farmers and those with small businesses. We have formed a group of ten and started by contributing small amounts of money, we lend to one or two women to start something, at the next meeting they tell us what they have done and pay back what we gave them. We are then able to loan funds to others. When we are together we help each other spiritually and emotionally changing our way of seeing things helping them understand how they can make it in life.