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Adding Value to Cassava in Teso Region Western Kenya
January 24, 2013 11:15 AM PST
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A crop that has been long known as food for the poor and a last resort during famine, has now become a high income generating food crop. Farmers Like Margaret Amusugut have learnt how to make flour, cassava chips, and other snacks from cassava through processing. Thanks to Farm Concern International which introduced cassava chipping machines to farmers. Through stakeholders like AGRA and KARI, research was done to come up with cassava varieties that resist pests and drought. Selling the dry chipped cassava as a group to industries, the farmers have the power to bargain for the better pay.

Mama Mushroom
September 09, 2012 09:50 AM PDT
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Joan Kimikoti is popularly known as mama Mushroom for her success as a mushroom farmer in malava kakamega county, Western Kenya. Since 2005 when mushroom growing was introduced in the area, Joan has become a millionare and has helped other farmers to change their livelihood by growing mushrooms. As a woman who doesnt have land, she used part of her house to start growing the mushroom.

Episode 7 70 year old woman, changing lives in Rural Kenya.
April 08, 2012 08:48 AM PDT
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A retired teacher and civil servant, Bertha Ambundo in her 70s, has seen poor girls get education, lame children being treated and local women earning money from farming.
It is just about two and half years since Bertha was unanimously chosen in as director of Ingotse Women Ministry - Church of God in Kakamega County in Western Kenya.
“There was a lot of poverty in church to an extend that people were not giving offertory to God. I talked to them about how we should tackle the situation.”
The church members divided themselves in to different groups, some opting to do vegetable farming, others poultry and others decided to do catering.
Two catering groups were formed, each consisting 20 members. One group is a high class, which involves decorating at events, as well as baking cakes. The second group is a lower level which cooks African traditional dishes at affordable rates.
The second group is involved in cooking for the church members whenever they have a seminar or any kind of event that takes whole day. The church collects the money, around 15,000 Kenya shillings which are paid to the catering group. The group also cooks at funerals, weddings and other functions.
Most of the food requirements are bought from the members of the same church who are doing vegetable or poultry farming. Bertha motivated them to start green houses in which they grow vegetables. Among the vegetables are the delicious African indigenous vegetables like the black night shade, whose price in local restaurants is very high, compared to kales, cabbage or spinach.
However Bertha has remained as an example to change the attitude of her church members. She has all these activities in her farm. She takes the members to her home and shows them how she is raring poultry, how to grow vegetables and spices in green houses, and how to cook food as well.
After seeing that members of the church are now enterprising, Bertha has helped to register the group and developed a constitution and now they are have an account with Barclays Bank to save the earnings. Barclays bank has a charges free account called UWEZO to help faith based women groups.
Bertha’s heart to help the society, started when she was still a young lady working in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. She formed a group of women called SAIDIA, which means help, in Swahili language. Through the group she collected money from corporate organizations to help repair children with damaged lips (cleft palates).
Currently, a girl from her church is doing her diploma in nursing, after the girl passing so highly, but her parents could not afford school fees. Bertha is paying half of the fee, and solicits the rest from friends.
“Jennifer Gitau, a second year law student of University of Nairobi, is now able to see after I read her story in the news paper.”
The girl developed a disease that was about to make her a total blind.
“When I read the story in the papers, I called the nation media Group and asked for the girl’s telephone number. I talked to my doctor in Nairobi who accepted to help in operating Jennifer, at a very affordable fee.”
Bertha has asked the church to give her a piece of land to construct a big guest house, which will bring in money, so that poor children can get education.
“My advice to Kenyans is, let people produce more than what they can consume and have money. Let them do green house farming. Hotels in town are now in need of rabbits and traditional vegetables. “
She asks God to give her more years on earth to leave it a better place than she found.

September 15, 2011 06:17 AM PDT
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I am glad to introduce to you ZETU MEDIA SERVICES my dream company that is now up and running. We are helping the talented musicians artists, performers and the communities achieve their dreams through music recording, video production, radio production, photography and theater.Our first album of eight songs has been mastered and is ready for launch. We are also offering piano and guitar lessons.

Walking the Talk; Religious leaders demonstrate by planting trees
December 09, 2010 08:39 AM PST
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A field trip about 50 kilometers from Kampala, was an exciting moment for the religious leaders to show cause for their call to addressing challenges affecting the world today. As the world gathers in Cancun, Mexico for the climate change meeting, Men and women of God were digging holes to plant trees in a farm belonging to one of the particiapnts in a four day training workshop for religious leaders, on Understanding climate change. Imam Kasozi from the Muslim faith, has planted hundreds of acres of trees in his farm in Kalule, Luwero district. The trip started from a tree nursery in Kakiri, Wakiso district, where district officials welcomed and addressed the religious leaders. Each participant was given free seedlings(fruit and trees) to take home.The training, funded by International Network for the Availability for Scientific Publications, INASP was aimed at empowering the religious leaders with skills to influence policies on climate change and science.

Religious Leaders swear a climate change oath by dancing.
December 07, 2010 12:43 PM PST
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Florence Nzambuli, a farmer from rural Mutomo in Kitui District of Kenya, has no scientific words for climate change. Young in her old age, Florence uses her body to demonstrate how mother earth has been deformed by mankind. She compares the current planet to a a badly damaged figure that has lost its beauty, shape, strength and colour as aresult of deforestation, global warming, disappearence of some animal species and now total chaos.
Florence took three days travelling from her deep rural village to Kampala to demonstrate at a religious leaders workshop on climate change,what can be done to bring back life to the dear mother earth. Indeed she came with no powerpoint presentation, songs that commits every individual to take action. She puts people in different groups representing the continents, each group has a section of words to say. TO WHOM DOES IT BELONG TO? (climate change) and the answer is TO ME.
Then She goes ahead to let every body swear an oath that I WILL PLANT TREES AGAIN AND AGAIN TILL I GET TOO OLD, TILL MY BACK BREAKS DOWN, TILL I CAN SPEAK NO MORE. And she focus at saving the lives of the young generation. Enjoy the singing.

Religion and politics are inseparable in tackling climate change
December 06, 2010 02:18 PM PST
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'We share the globe, pagans, religious and others. But we have failed to appreciate that there is a problem'. Were the words of Bishop Nathan Kyamanywa attending a four day climate change workshop for religious leaders in Kampala.
The workshop entiltled, Understanding climate change; the role of religious leaders is the first of its kind in Uganda funded by International Network for the Availability for Scientific Publications, INASP.
The day started with a skit by students of St. Cyprian, organised by Cafe scientific. The play demonstrated how villagers are succumbing to impacts of climate change as a result of cutting down trees,leading to deaths, droughts, floods and diseases. The villagers turn to religious leaders to perfom miracles to end their problems, but when they are told to plant trees, they wonder how planting trees is related to the problems they are facing. The play ends with a well percieved message that it is the role of every person to protect the environment.
Reacting to the play, issues were raised with possible solutions emphasized on attitude change.
Some of the religious leaders expressed concern that politicians are not playing their role accordingly, and should work together as policy influencers and policy makers.
Most government policies on mitigation were seen to be weak or not implimented. Mind change was seen as a key way forward in addressing challenges of climate change. Where poverty looms and the locals want to survive, the environment was being destroyed.

Religious leaders workshop on climate change.
November 13, 2010 08:24 AM PST
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High ranking religious leaders in Uganda will gather in Kampala from 5th-9th December 2010, to explore their role in addressing issues of climate change. Muslim, Catholic, Bahai, Anglican, SDA, and the protestants are brazing themselves for the serious training. Thanks to INASP-International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications, that has funded the training. Expected to attend is Flora Nzambuli, from Kenya. She is a farmer who puts people on task of answering the question; To Whom does climate change belong to? Her presence in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last month, will never be regretted by all the participants. I will bring you daily podcasts of the workshop.

Farmers Should Produce What they dont consume
November 12, 2010 09:40 AM PST

How can Africa be proud of a population of 9 billion people as market for small holder farmers, when actually most actors are looking at export market. The eating habits should be changed if this is to be a potential. For instance, the only bird eaten in Most parts of Ethiopia is chicken. Pig is a taboo. Some foods are regarded as food for the poor. Beans and maize meal are seen as food for schools, prisons and the poor. When i was growing, my uncle produced beetroots, radish, garlic among others for Asians in towns. it is only through learning that i find that most of these crops are very necessary for the healthy functioning of the body. If you are from a rural Africa village, you understand how mothers pick fruits and give them to children to take to the shops in exchange for bread or sugar. How eggs are sold to buy bread, and how milk is sold to buy tea leaves and the like instead of feeding the children to boost their immunity and fight malnutrition. If we only could change these habits, we will be a potential market for our own products. When i posed the question to Mr. Philip Kiriro, the president of the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation. He gave me his positive answer. He was in Uganda attending the 5th Regional Development Briefings, a series of Development Briefing on ACP-EU development issues.