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Farm of Hope was founded in 2009 and arose from the need to improve the nutritional state of small and older children orphaned because of AIDS in the Magwagwa Community, a parish in the dioceses of Kisii in Kenya. The death of a parent during the productive age not only deprives the family of the economic resources necessary to live a decent life, but also deprives the new generation of that traditional knowledge of agriculture which is essential in rural African places such as Magwagwa. One of the main objectives of Farm of Hope is therefore to train orphaned children and teach them how to sow and tend fruit trees and vegetables.
The running of the project, coordinated by our operator resident in Kenya, was entrusted to a local agronomist. Under his guidance, a two-acre plot of land placed at the disposal of the project by the Diocese was cleared, fenced and prepared for sowing. At the moment corn, tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflowers, beans, peanuts, sugar cane, pineapples, lemons and bananas are grown there, along with Nepia grass, which is used against land erosion and which, once grown, is sold as fodder. A small well has been dug to guarantee water, which is collected through gutter-pipes into small tanks and plastic bins. A small office has been built, as well as a hut for the guardian.
A hen house has also been fitted out, which now houses 20 hens. Guano is collected to encourage biological fertilisation. In fact, we believe it is very important to start introducing the most basic elements of biological agriculture.
The entire local community actively takes part in this project. Children and youngsters work the land at the weekends and during their school holidays, while the adults of the community who have taken in the orphans have been asked by the agronomist to help out on all the other days and on a voluntary basis.
The positive results of the operation and the rapidity with which they have been achieved have aroused much interest in the Magwagwa community and in neighbouring areas where there is abundance of uncultivated fields.