Grow to eat and learn to earn
Today our SKF Youth were taught to plant potatoes which will be sold for income and buying materials for learning at school, after earning them. They will also do value addition to the potatoes by milling it into flour for making Chips, cakes and chapatis. The best bit of this potatoes is, it adds vitamin A to the body which is very nutritious and is to be mentioned as a immune booster too.
In this project farmers learn to grow food for their own consumption and to sell the surplus harvest. This way, they can set aside a portion of their income for use in small projects to create the basis for a sustained livelihood. They can also pool the income they generated through sales to make loans to one another under a programme called ‘Table Banking’.
The project was launched in March 2014. The first step consisted of teaching participants how to create kitchen gardens at home. Families were introduced to the basics of composting and organic farming.
All in all, the ‘Grow to Eat’ project comprises 73 participants, 55 of whom are very active. With the help of Financial Literacy Training offered by Sauti Kuu, they have drawn up a savings programme and are involved within the framework of the Table Banking Project, a group savings and lending programme to which members make a financial contribution that is used, in turn, to provide others with loans in exchange for a small rate of interest.
The project now comprises three groups, and the ranks of their members are growing from year to year. Interest in participating in the initiative is growing among families outside of the Sauti Kuu families as well. In addition to the 73 members who participate in the meetings, there are another 10 families that do not officially belong to Sauti Kuu but have also learned and adopted the techniques mediated by the organisation in order to plant their own kitchen gardens and run a small farming operation. This is how the project has spread even beyond Sauti Kuu.
The ‘Grow to Eat’ project has changed the lives of the families involved and improved their chances of feeding themselves and setting money aside in the process. Although most meeting attendees are women, men are taking an increasingly active role in the work of the kitchen gardens.