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Learning the skills to make a living

13 October 2014
Posted by Geoffrey Atieli

Geoffrey Atieli

On Saturday 27th September 2014, we visited the home of Gilbert Korir, a deafblind young adult who has recently graduated from Sikri Vocational Training Centre. He is one of the recipients of a grant of Kshs 50,000 with which the family bought a dairy cow. The milk from this cow is sold to provide an income for Gilbert, making him self-employed and to lead a more independent life. He lives in Bomet District, Bomet County. The area is lush with green vegetation, and many people grow tea, maize, and keep dairy cattle.

We arrived at the family home of Gilbert Korir at 1.45 pm, and parked the vehicle near the entrance to the home. We were warmly received by 2 neatly dressed men in their 60s: Joseph Lang’at, the father of Gilbert Korir (Joseph is familiar with some of the staff of Sense International – Charles Odol the Community Based Education Officer, and Edwin Osundwa the Country Representative) with his elder brother, Linus Lang’at. They led us into a small neatly arranged semi-permanent house[ that belongs to Gilbert. It has two rooms, a sitting room and a bedroom. They quickly explained that Gilbert would join us shortly, because he was at a prayer meeting in another house on the same compound, which would soon be concluded. The house was obviously arranged for our visit, and we were shown to take the upright seats behind a low table that was lined with metal cups.

Joseph and Linus showed us the dairy cattle pen, and the store for the dairy animals. There are 4 Friesian cows, and Chebois, which is the name given to Gilberts cow is a Guernsey. Their pen is well maintained, and the store is impressive, with a double storey. He has kept plenty of stoves from the last harvest of maize, has a few bags of finger millet, and a few bags of oats. His main challenge, he stated, is lack of adequate Napier grass that is more nutritious than the crushed maize stoves that he was feeding his cattle on, and so they were not producing milk optimally.

The opportunity to earn an income has made a huge difference to the family and Gilbert has become much more independent. His family are much more optimistic for his future.

Geoffrey Atieli, Consultant, Sense International East Africa

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First published: Friday 7 June 2013
Last updated: Thursday 18 September 2014