Thursday, June 12, 2014

We all have dreams....

I grew up at a time when Kenya was a one party state....i grew up at a time when the then Kenyan government would provide each and every pupil in school a packet of milk every Tuesday and Thursday for free!!! ;)- so you can imagine how full the classes were on those two particular days... i grew up at a time when the highest export and foreign exchange earner for Kenya was COFFEE.

the view of the sunset from my village-where our dreams are nurtured

And then came what is now popularly known as ''the coffee crisis'' in the early 1990's and our world collapsed....and the Exodus began :(
You see, we were all in school, and our parents could somehow still survive to keep us there....and yes there was the government milk! 
We all had dreams, we wanted to become doctors, engineers, pilots or simply visit Disney World :D....
But after the crisis, many of my classmates had to quit school, their parents could no longer afford the compulsorly school fees in Kenya back then, and the Milk truck disappeared so fast it was as if it had never existed.....
My community depended largely on coffee as a means of income, including food purchase
and this crisis led to indebtedness and many were forced to abandon their farms or switch to alternative crops. The journey to more hardship and increased poverty began....
I finished high school and left when i was 17...i left like many of my mates to go and ''see the world'',some of us pursued our dreams..and the rest who were not lucky enough remained in the village to continue with the same cycle of living on less than 1 US$ a day... 

15 years later visiting my old primary school
15 years later, i came back to the village of my birth, this time not to visit......i had seen enough of the world i had wanted to go and see when i was a teenager.....this time i came back to make sure that the children from my village would again have dreams, they would not only have dreams but they were gonna live those dreams....i couldn't get the milk truck again for them but i was gonna make sure they remained in schools where they had a chance to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future...
A quote from the late Mandela is what inspired me ''Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world''-Nelson Mandela
And this is the weapon me and the crew of both Kedovo Kenya and Germany wanna use to change the future of my village.

Our pickup arriving at Karindundu primary loaded with new school desks & lockers

Yesterday our team from the Kedovo Kenya Chapter spent the day at Karindundu Primary School in Karatina where they donated school desks and lockers as in the framework of our project ''Education for sustainable development'' for the children of our coffee producers....this great project has been facilitated by Sandtorkai Handel Papenhagen of Germany and Chania Coffee of Germany.

Zackie of Kedovo doing what he does best- Coordinating

new desks & lockers for Karindundu primary school

Karindundu Factory is one of the wet mills from Barichu Cooperative- the great farmers that produce our coffee that is currently available for sale in Germany. Their children attend Karindundu Primary school which is government owned and is currently underfunded.

George from Kedovo counter checking that all is in order ;)

 The Kedovo Education for sustainable development project, is close  to the hearts of all of us at both Kedovo Kenya and Germany. You see...we all are children of the coffee producers from Nyeri, we know and have lived the hardships of not knowing if tomorrow you will remain in class, we have all had dreams that were either shattered or we lived them..we now want to confront the 'silent emergency' of the coffee world head on before it sends our village back to chronic hunger that will ran deeply for generations to come, we want to confront it before it pulls the children of our village from the schools and back to the coffee fields.....
Davie the Program Director-Kedovo Kenya handing over the desks to the Management of Karindundu
How does the concept work? In the year Dec 2012 we came together and formed a partnership with some of the coffee producers in Nyeri. They would give coffee cultivation one 'last shot'- my team in Kenya would train them on sustainable coffee farming that is within the ecological, economical and social limits, that respected the crops and the farmers. We would produce economically & ecologically sustainable coffee that would be sort after by the western world...and me and the gang in Germany would look for market for the produce. In turn, we would also intiate, facilitate & support Rural developmental projects in the community from some of the earnings of the produce ..and they inturn would send their children to school, and I and the gang would keep those children in school and mobilise resources and especially through the coffee sales and provide the school requirements for the children of our coffee producers; May the force be with us.....

desks before

lockers before

thank you Familie Papenhagen

On behalf of of the Kedovo team, the pupils of Karindundu Primary school in Karatina Kenya, the Parents Teachers Association, The Board of Governors from the school, The Management of Barichu Cooperative Society...we convey our sincere thanks to Nicole Boedtger & Heinz Papenhagen of Sandtorkai Handel Papenhagen and all the Roasters in Germany for supporting our work and  for making it happen....
The kedovo team-kenya, BOG & PTA members, Headteacher Karindundu & Sec.Mngr Barichu Coop

The journey continues.....

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