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Aug 5, 2014 4 Min Read

Molo’s Hopes for the Youth

Verdant hills interspersed with maize plantations and scattered homesteads characterized the scene in the Marmanet countryside. On July 20th, 2014, the Kijani team in Kenya visited the area to take footage for an upcoming crowd funding video. We also wanted to talk to members of the community about their perception of the degraded Marmanet forest.

the Kenyan Kijani team in Marmanetthe Kenyan Kijani team in Marmanet planting a first tree on the site, where we want to plant 100 hectares of forest.
the Kenyan Kijani team in Marmanetthe Kenyan Kijani team in Marmanet planting a first tree on the site, where we want to plant 100 hectares of forest.

After taking countless shots in the hills of the forest, our exhausted team, consisting of 5 Kijani volunteers, 2 KFS (Kenya Forest Service) personnel, Lucas (the KFS forest manager) and our filmmaker took a breather amid the falling sun. As twilight settled, a light-hearted conversation with Molo – a 72-year member of the Turkana ethnic group – ensued while part of the team napped on a carpet of highland grass.  

The Turkana are not the original inhabitants of these hills. Their fathers migrated from the Northern desert plains of Kenya to the region during the latter part of the 20th century, during a mass relocation of ethnic groups that would support the incumbent president – Daniel Arap Moi – to the area. Today, these Turkana call Marmanet their home. Molo – in a constant giggle as he told us about how he uses the forest as grazing ground for his 2 cows and 10 goats – is one face in a community that is hopeful about the changes that Kijani can bring. High on their list is the prospect of job opportunities for the youth, a group that is largely unemployed in Marmanet.

Thankfully (and maybe not surprisingly) this is something that Kijani aims to provide. By offering skills training in sustainable businesses – such as beekeeping – to youth in the community, we aim to provide a means for these individuals to not only earn a living, but to take what they have learned back to their own families and also to other parts of the country. We aim to show through this training that healthy trees can be viable economic engines for low-cost sustainable business solutions to rural poverty. Our hope is that not only the family of Molo, but the Turkana people in this community, too, might benefit from this training and further collaboration with Kijani in the future. 

For now, our aim is to garner the support of people like Molo on the ground, enabling our project to find the traction it needs to turn dream into reality! 

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