TO EMPOWER THE POOR AND VULNERABLE FARMERS OF WESTERN KENYA WITH EDUCATION AND RESOURCES, SO THEY CAN LEAD HEALTHY, PRODUCTIVE, AND DIGNIFIED LIVES.
We focus on the multiple root causes of hunger, malnutrition, illness and adverse poverty. Causes of hunger, disease and problematic socio-economic conditions in the region are manifold and interconnected and cannot be addressed with isolated approaches. We have therefore chosen to take a holistic approach, which allows us to achieve a sustainable, positive and wider impact. We are a small, dynamic and experienced team, capable of taking decisions and reacting to challenges promptly. We are pragmatic, with no bureaucracy or hierarchical hurdles standing in the way of effective problem solving. Using multiple approaches and taking the local context into account, we work with farmers, communities and schools in order to reach a large population. We intentionally do not operate in other countries or continents so that we can optimally invest our resources and avoid the high travelling and startup costs associated with multiple operations. Instead we strategically concentrate our efforts in the Counties of Kakamega and Vihiga in Western Kenya where we have a long-term commitment, while carefully planning the growth of our outreach in the local area. This allows us to get to know the people we want to help and to establish mutual trust, which is crucial for a sustainable impact in these rural areas. We involve the county governments through a strong and positive collaboration, and also work closely with research institutions and other like-minded organizations. This ensures up-to-date information for farmers through our constant and intensive extension services and practical training programs.
We know and understand the people we work with, and they know and trust us!
We teach sustainable land and soil management practices, with a focus on climate change, preserving biodiversity, natural resource management, and soil fertility improvement based on sound ecological principles.
We provide communities and schools with access to safe water for household use by protecting springs at a rate of 12 per month, with each spring serving between 100 and 500 people. We have protected over 1000 springs which means that we have given around 500 000 people access to clean water
We empower women through special programs aimed at self-empowerment through economic growth. We have programs for pregnant mothers teaching them not only knowledge about nutrition but give them the tool to produce a healthy diet for themselves, the baby and their family.
We give hardworking and motivated farmers groups interest-free micro credit to start agribusinesses.
We have trained over 200 volunteer “lead farmers”, each nominated by their respective farmers group. The lead farmers are motivated and actively support our work in the field by conveying timely, relevant and accurate information to the farmers groups. They are equipped with mobile phones for relaying bulk messages, such as meteorological updates and other important communications. They also receive ongoing up-to-date training to tackle problems in the field as they arise.
We regularly carry out surveys, in order to ensure that we have the highest possible impact with family funds spent. Immediate corrections are made if our interventions do not meet our result-oriented expectations.
We do not sponsor or „sub-contract“ other organizations and institutions to perform our work on our behalf. This means that every dollar spent goes exclusively to our own projects over which we have complete management control.
SOFDI is highly regarded by the county governments of Kakamega and Vihiga for the visible impact of our work in the field. Our results have encouraged them in giving us as much support as possible - a true win-win situation!
Our interventions include:
- Agriculture education (organic farming/sustainable agriculture/conservation agriculture)
- Extensive agriculture and nutrition education in schools
- Nutrition education
- Theoretical and practical training in nutrition-sensitive agriculture
- Animal husbandry
- Access to clean water, mainly through spring protection
- Hygiene and sanitation education (WASH)
- A wide array of extension services for empowerment of our farmers groups
- Interest-free micro credit facilities for farmers groups for agribusinesses
- Agribusiness skills
- Access to quality seeds and crops suitable to the area with an emphasis on agricultural biodi versity
- Enhancing the delivery of family planning services