Monday, July 14, 2014

Julius, A life changed by Feed The World

Julius heard about the Feed The World program and wanted to be part of it. He organized over twenty of his neighboring families into a group that we could teach. He was ready for us and has done an incredible job.
Julius had realized the importance of water and dug a large pit about 12 feet deep and 14 feet in diameter to capture water for his farm. Several years after this, another NGO, AgraKan, was impressed with his ambition and helped him dig a much larger surface dam. This preparation made it much easier for him to take advantage of our program.
Julius, Eddison, and two of the group members at the surface dam
As the Feed The World staff taught him our basic principles he implemented them with vigor. He has been in the program less than a year and has already enjoyed great success. When we visited his farm we found Okra plants over six feet tall, tomatoes, eggplant, kale, spinach, and many others. An average day laborer in Kenya can earn about 350 Kenyan Shillings ($4.00) per day. Julius is now harvesting and selling about 1,000 Kenyan Shillings ($11.75) worth of tomatoes per day. This is after his family has eaten all that they want to eat.
Julius is proudly showing off his tomatoes
Last month volunteers from Thriving Nations, the charitable arm of Thrive Life, helped Julius plant maize (corn) according to our specifications. Based on what we are seeing right now after only a month he should have three or four times as much maize as he has had before. He was very excited that the Thrive team had come and helped him till the land and plant the maize.
The maize is growing well. Julius's home is in the background
The proceeds from his garden will make it so that he can easily pay the school fees for his children and medical bills that come up. Those two expenses are the ones that I most often hear talked about. Parents hate to have their children kicked out of school because they can't pay the required fees. No parent wants to be in the situation that they have a sick child and don't have the money to pay for the medicine to treat them. With malaria and several other of the illnesses in rural Kenya, the medicine could mean the difference between life and death.
The smile on Julius's face is in part a smile of stress relief because now he has a way of getting the money that he needs for these critical issues. 

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