In the Masai village of Loitokitok in rural Kenya, Parmuya Kampei Kirasi and five of his friends admire the 4.85 hectares of seedlings they have just planted. For the second consecutive year, they have sown row after row of tomato plants and onion bulbs, and now they must wait seven long months to reap the fruits (or vegetables) of their labour.

The six young people formed the Ilmepukoo Farming Youth Group in 2002 to improve the living standards of youth in their village. They are supporting employment and training in modern agricultural methods, with the aim of giving their peers a chance to invest in their collective future.

By October 2003, despite excessive rains and a delay in funding, they had harvested their first crops. They kept some of the produce for their families to eat and sold the rest, raising roughly $515 to reinvest in seeds and equipment for the next planting season. In this way, the six friends hope to keep their small operation running for years to come, generating extra food and income for their families, and expanding to include more young people from their community.

   
         
      photo: Peacechild International  
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