Archive for July, 2012

Michinda Boys Primary School Exposure Tour to Nanyuki Secondary schools..

July 6th 2012 boys at Michinda primary school hastily loaded their belongings, into the school bus with much enthusiasm. The trip ahead was going to be an adventurous one full of new experiences. The boys were going to have a whole weekend to socialize with their senior counterparts from Nanyuki Boys High school, Moi equator girls high school and Gakawa High school; it was going to be an intensive weekend full of learning experiences: both socially and intellectually. The idea of conducting this trip was conceived in mid 2011 when a group of students from the above schools visited Michinda Boys Primary school for an exchange learning program. During the said visit the students were given a guided tour around the 4K club garden and they were really impressed that the young boys aged between the ages of 8 and 13 years old could achieve so much given their ages thus this challenged them to go back to their respective schools and implement the same. They vowed that in future they’ll invite the Michinda boys so that they could show case what they had achieved since the mid 2011 visit. That time had come and on 6th July 2012 roughly a year after they had visited michinda, it was now the time for michinda to visit the other schools i.e. Nanyuki boys high school, Moi equator girls high school and Gakawa high school. After a long drive of approximately 7 hour we arrived in Nanyuki, a town located at the feet of Mount Kenya, in early morning it offers an impressive magnificent view of Mount Kenya. That evening the student had dinner and spent a night at Nanyuki High School where they had an interaction with the team that had organized the visit i.e. Seanet ‘s director, Mr. Macheru, Lukas and Anna both from People in Peril Association (Pipa)and Nanyuki high school.
On July 7th the Students had a chance to visit the Nanyuki E-clubs’ Garden where they learnt about the activities the club has been undertaking. The Demo offered by the E-club members tours included: Demonstration on drip irrigation, Biogas production, Water harvesting and use efficiency and Green house farming technologies. The E-clubs are run in such a way that the produce from the E-gardens is processed by the members of the club and sold to both the school for consumption and the local market. The E-gardens were adorned with mainly vegetable e.g. kales, spinach, onions, cabbages, tomatoes and tubers: potatoes, carrots and sweet Potatoes. After the Demo tour the students participated in a joint tree planting activity together with the members of cooperatives societies in Nanyuki as a way of marking the world cooperatives day marked on July 7th annually. Shortly after completing the tree planting exercise we departed for Moi Equator girls high school which is located at a five minutes drive from Nanyuki town along Nanyuki – Kiganjo highway. Here we found that our hosts – The E-club Moi Equator girls high school had prepared a guided demo tour around their E-garden. As they had witnessed earlier the boys from Michinda had a chance to see various agricultural technologies ranging from greenhouse farming, drip irrigation, chicken rearing, rabbits and pigs rearing. As with the previous E-club from Nanyuki boys high school, Moi equators’ garden mainly composed of vegetables and tubers farming. During the interaction session which was held in the garden the students had an intense and thorough discussions on the methods of cultivation used by both schools, advantages and disadvantages of each method. They also visited the cottage industry of the school’s E-club where they had a chance to witness various food transformation processes aimed at value addition. Guided tasting sessions were also conducted by the hardworking members of the E-clubs.
Later that afternoon we departed to Gakawa high school which boarder Mt Kenya forest reserve, 30 minutes drive from Nanyuki town towards Kiganjo. Here the students were given a tour of the Gakawa High school E – garden by the members of the E-club, the tour included demos on drip irrigation, agroforestry, Greenhouse farming technologies, tomatoes farming and roof water harvesting technologies. After the visit to the garden the members of both the 4K club and the E-club (from Michinda and Gakawa schools respectively) held intense discussions on their farming practices before proceeding to Gakawa’s E-club cottage industry. In the cottage industry the taken through a demonstration on the transformation and processing (Value addition) of potatoes to make potato chips. This was done using readily available kitchen equipment making it easier for students to replicate when they are back to their respective home. This was particularly significant as the students gained could market their product to their peer in school and at the local market to earn the club some income which can be used to propel the club forward moreover to cultivate interest in other students from the school who have not yet joined the club or have a negative view of agriculture and economic activity. When the demo was done the overly generous students from Gakawa high schools’ E- club offered their guest a packet of potato chip as a gesture of good faith and strong friendship.
At the conclusion of trip the students from Michinda were challenged to implement the activities they had learnt about in their school and also to challenge their parents back at home to adopt them as this will go along way in contributing towards a food secure Kenya where the youth no longer look down upon agriculture as a peasants way of life instead they should perceive it as a viable and respectable way of earning an honest and dignified living. This successful trip eventually, I believe taught the young boys from Michinda a valuable lifelong lesson. We are forever grateful for having had this wonderful opportunity to interact and experience all the good stuff we learnt and for all the nice people we met. Many thanks to PIPA, Nanyuki boys high school, Moi equator girls high school, Gakawa high school Seanet and Necofa Kenya for having made this trip a success.