The Little Stars Organization recognized a great need for improved nutrition in their community. Fishing returns were diminishing, and drought was devastating harvests. Therefore, in 2004, the organization initiated an environmental conservation project where they established a tree/fruit seedlings nursery. The sales from the seedling facilitated the expenses of the project including maintenance, salaries, and health advocacy. Building on the nursery, and with the assistance of CANAssist, the organization began to build a much larger farm a few years later. Though sustainability is always key, there was an immediate need to irrigate the farm so that the endeavor did not fail. Therefore, CANAssist also provided the farm with a generator so that water can be pumped from the lake, up the hill to the tank, and then back down through pipes and hoses to the garden. This was a critical step to ensure a good harvest from the farm in increasingly dry seasons.
Today, the farm is lush and thriving. The produce from the farm helps to feed the children at the Academy and the rest of the community. The variety of crops is improving the nutritional status of the children and adults in the community, many of whom are HIV positive and need nutrients to stay healthy. The farm produces more than the school and the rest of the Kanyala family need; therefore, excess produce is sold at the local market at a fair price, and the revenues benefit the farm and the Academy. The farm is now not only self-sustaining, but is essential to the sustainability of Kanyala Little Stars Organization.
The production and sale of strong fruit tree seedlings allows for and inspires future sustainability for the entire region. Each year, hundreds of seedling trees are sold or given away, with proper instruction for their care. These seedlings will reforest Rusinga Island, and will provide nutritious fruits (papayas, bananas, and others) for many decades to come.
Please see the photos below, and the videos on the YouTube Channel (coming soon) for more information about the farm.