Core Team and Our History

In 2002 Rev.Bruce Collins was invited to take a team to the Diocese of Maseno North, Kenya to teach local church leaders. The visiting team were faced with the stark reality of food shortages and extreme poverty in what should be a very abundant and fertile region. Most people were only able to eat once a day in the months before harvest.

Many farmers own small holdings of between a half and two acres but many of these farms were not producing enough food, even for subsistence due to poor land management and lack of agricultural knowledge.

In desperation the men would have to go to larger urban centres like Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi in order to make a living, leaving the women and children to run the farm. The HIV/AIDS infection rate can be as high as 25% of the adult population and some men returned to the farm having contracted HIV and subsequently infect their wives. Sadly, there are many hundreds of AIDS orphans in the Maseno area.

The combined result was poverty, malnourishment, starvation and high mortality rates in one of the most fertile regions of Kenya.

A possible solution

In 2005 another team travelled from diverse London churches with the aim of setting up a Kenyan agricultural project. Their objective was to ensure that the land could produce enough food to feed families and have enough leftover to sell so that the local farmer would not have to leave for the city. The natural result would be an increase in the economic wealth, social stability, and long-term health of the region.

The intention was to establish a project that was founded on the principles of the Kingdom of God and that could be replicated easily in other areas in Kenya and further afield. After an initial consultation process involving working with internationally respected agronomist Dr Apollo Orodho and support from Anglican bishop Simon Oketch, the Farmers’ Field Schools Programme was developed and in 2005 the Maseno Project was born. 

Since then we have seen transformation:

  • Farmers sustainably increase yields 3-8x over long term
  • Family food from 1 meal/day or less, to 2 or more/day – 7-8 family members
  • Over 2000 farmers now trained or in training
  • 7-8 average family size, means 16,000 lives directly impacted
  • Farmers train average 4 neighbours each, meaning over 64,000 other lives also impacted
  • Co-operative food production by many graduates
  • Far greater crop variety leading to nutritious diets
  • Food given by farmers to provide for the poor – e.g. meals for orphans
  • Farmer income increased to pay living costs, develop business
  • Microfinance initiative for stimulating new businesses, very successful payback rate
  • Many orphans adopted by farmers
  • Farmers give 10% (tithe) of their harvest, greatly helping to expand the work of the Church and the Project, reaching out to the poor and needy in the community
  • Recognition of Project from Kenyan Agriculture Minister – he said we do better than them with less cost!
  • One farmer awarded best small-holding farmer of the year for Kenya
  • Now we are refining our Farmers’ Field Schools Programme, to include methods of loaning inputs which can help release farmers and communities into prosperity more effectively, and reproduce new Farmers’ Field Schools more quickly and widely. Have a look at ‘Farmers’ Field Schools,’ under ‘What We See,’ in the top menu bar to find out more.

The Ripple Effect


The Ripple Effect

 

This year the Maseno Project was taken over by Just Earth in 2014 as we have seen the work expand into more regions in Kenya and beyond.

Just Earth Mission

Just Earth partners with local churches to bring spiritual, economic, social, and environmental transformation to their communities in the name of Jesus.

Our objectives:

  • To work hand-in-hand with local churches
  • To form 2-way relationships – everyone gains from the connection: local farmers, business people and partner churches
  • To be financially self-generating
  • To be 4Dimensional – spiritual, economic, social and environmental

Just Earth Tustees/Directors:

Rev Bruce Collins (Chair)
Mr David Cross
Mrs Alex Lloyd Davies
Mr Tim Watson

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