When the five pillars of our Adopt a Village development model support each other, we can make the biggest and most sustainable impact possible. We can see this impact when we look at how our investment in education is empowering the youth of our schools, like Kisaruni All Girls Secondary School, to give back to their communities and strengthen the Agriculture and Food Security pillar. Recently, the girls of Kisaruni wrote essays to explain how they were “being the change” and helping their families become more food secure.
Sharon Tombo, a Grade 11 Kisaruni student, told us about her home in Pimbiniet. “My community is big with a population of about 20 families per village. The people in this community are hard-working as they grow crops and also keep livestock. They also face a lack of electricity, social amenities and good infrastructure. This is really a challenge, but I’m hoping to help improve.” Sharon’s way of supporting food security is planting fruit trees in Pimbiniet to combat diseases caused by malnutrition.
Faith Cherotich told us about life at her home in Motony. “In our community we have resources like sandy soil, dairy cows, and a large and accommodative wildlife game reserve called the Maasai Mara. However, there are several challenges in my community. There are insufficient means of transport, inadequate water supplies, poor transport and communication network and shortage of pasture for livestock.” Faith has been going back to her primary school to plant avocado trees. “I saw the need to have it within our community because many innocent children have been suffering from malnutrition.”
But Faith wants to do even more. “I would also like to put more effort in my academics so that in the future I can construct good transport systems, to have adequate water facilities to be used in irrigating our crops for domestic use.” Through her education at Kisaruni, she’s learned to think sustainably about food production in her community. She knows that education is the key to helping her improve the agricultural infrastructure of Motony.
For other Kisaruni students, food security means changing the way the community thinks about agriculture. Marcella Chepkemoi Sang, a 17-year-old Kipsigis with eight brothers and sisters, believes that innovation is the key to her village’s food security. “My hope for the future is that I would like the people in my community to improve in their farming practices. I would like to make the community a better place to be.”
Faith Chemutai, second-oldest in her family, believes that improving agriculture in her community will also help support the Alternative Income and Livelihood pillar. “I hope that in the future my community will be the best known for growing fruits. I hope for my community that there would be a great change and people would not give up. I also hope to see them marketing their fruits to earn a living.” By saving money, her community would be better set up to withstand dry seasons and other crises. “They share what they have together in times of need.”
We are so excited to see how the girls of Kisaruni have become community leaders for the Agriculture and Food Security pillar. More now than ever before, our students are beginning to think sustainably about how to combat hunger at home.
And their success is thrilling. It shows that when students are empowered with the fuel to learn, they can direct their energy and leadership toward helping their communities become sustainable and food secure. So, to the talented essayists of Kisaruni All Girls Secondary School, thank you for being the change!
The agriculture and food security pillar, made possible by founding partner PotashCorp, focuses on innovative farming techniques and water management projects to help ensure developing communities have access to self-sustaining food sources, directly impacting their health, access to education and life outcomes. Learn more about this pillar here.