Raymond Orenda is a community leader from Kenya who has reached out to let me know he was thinking of his globally minded friends during these trying times. Raymond is a very kind soul who I am grateful to have met, his story is truly inspiring and I strongly urge you to read his words below. You will be happy you did because projects like this are what the world needs now.
Greetings from Kenya.
My names are Raymond Benson Orenda. I am married to my sweet wife Jacky and we are blessed with one baby boy called Allan Raymond who is 4 years now.
Recently I managed to mobilize the community members and formed a CBO (Community Based Organization) a grass root project called Organic Food Kenya. I felt the need to give back to the community and share what I have learned.
The learning and connection we have experienced already by being involved in organic permaculture has been transforming and my dream now is to build on the gained knowledge to improve the living standard of many families.
I am already teaching and sharing the ideas in my community near Lake Victoria and my ambition is to become a better and more effective teacher.
Our project is based at Kamiyawa Village, Kodera Sub-location, West Kasipul, and Oyugis Sub-county in Homa-Bay County. It is run by 8 volunteers and our focus is to develop a working organic farm that not only provides organic food but aid in the education of other farmers in organic practices and the importance of clean and safe drinking water sources.
Organic food Kenya is teaching the community members to become SMART FISHERMEN/WOMEN, fishing themselves and their families out of poverty, lack of food, minimal or no illness permanently, instead of giving them fish for a day.
So far we have started training both theory and practical experiences on compost making, correct planting, rural enterprises like soap making, cake baking and how best the community can conserve their vegetables during rainy season to use them during drought season.
Community members come to learn then they go and implement the learned skills back in their homes and villages.
We also produce Moringa plants and Roselle plants at our farm and sell to the community members at subsidized rate they can afford. Our aim is to see them lead a healthy life. Many people in our community are Positive with HIV/AIDS. Moringa and Roselle have medicinal benefits like boosting their immunity system. We felt is very important to produce these plants locally.
The importance of Organic Permaculture education in communities is measured not just in the creation of clean food but in the creation of community. People naturally gather around water and food and it is the base of all civilizations and a clear path to the future is created in the process.
When communities are provided with opportunities to work together creating food and water security it offers so much more because of the healing power that comes for feeding ourselves and our families. The practice also removes many fears of the future and of course clean water is key to all of this. The truth is that when there is clean water there is life and when that source is contaminated the project itself becomes impossible.
Organic Food Kenya is an inclusive project supporting equality. We know that everyone is needed; all community members are included regardless of sex, age, race and status. The most marginalized groups of people like the orphans, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWAS) and the old are all catered for in this project.
Our volunteers, both locally and internationally work tirelessly planting our small fields, fighting deforestation, planting sweet potatoes, kale's, local vegetables and doing training's.
We are always updating our supporters with pictures of every step we make.
Permaculture teaches how to learn from nature to build resilient systems that are more than sustainable; they regenerate degraded lands and also help build community. These are exactly the kinds of help we need in Africa now and our aim is to create a beacon of hope, inspiration and learning for our brothers and sisters in Kenya and around the world.
All this has not been a walk in the pack. Many times we are faced with financial challenges. It is only through the support of friends and community efforts to reach where we are today. Because of this, we have registered a nonprofit Company called ORENDA FOUNDATION. Our objectives are to support the above mentioned small scale farmers by providing impact knowledge and eventually small loans. Supporting sustainable farming clean water projects, and permaculture also includes many forms of community support like shelters for widows, support orphans, enabling children to go to school, drilling boreholes for communities to get access to portable and clean drinking water, help build terraces and control soil erosion's in communities (MSL), support environmental projects like tree planting, provide vocational training's like Crafts and computer skills, support for people affected with HIV/AIDS and community as a whole on HIV/AIDS counseling and how to take care of themselves, and many other transformative effects.
We are looking for people like you to kindly help us. Please contact me if you can help build website, volunteer with fundraising and marketing efforts for our Foundation and to help us transform our community, in return we will certainly be grateful but more importantly we will be determined to reach out to and share this experience with as many people as we can. Together we can make a difference, together for a better world and together we can make this earth a better place for all.
You can learn more from our project website at www.organicfoodkenya.com and like our page(s) for updates.
Raymond and Jackline.
I hope you get as excited as I do when you read all of that, I'm truly proud to be able to answer his call with free promotion at the least for now. We have started discussing any possibility that we can help his community with Rhapsodic Global. I also want to say, if you've been reading blogs on our site please send your support to Organic Food Kenya and The Orenda Foundation.
Thank you for sharing your story, Raymond!
PS They have a phenomenal website and video on their homepage, www.organicfoodkenya.com
(PPS See if you can spot Raymond promoting our local Lonny Grafman, "To Catch The Rain" a book that they use to learn about water harvesting.)