Nairobi Urban Livelihoods Project
The project in brief
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)
February 2019 - February 2020
Empowering a person to become self-reliant is the best gift you can bestow on a person who is in need. This has been the pursuit of JRS’ livelihoods program for over 20 years now. In particular, this year 2019 we scored a first in the Nairobi urban context by piloting an agribusiness project in collaboration with the Focolare Movement and funded by Manos Unidas.
The agribusiness project aids 40 beneficiaries from Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo, whereby, they train in poultry, rabbit, beekeeping, and modern organic agricultural practices such as, multi-storey gardening. The project utilizes a participatory methodology, due to the age, and skills-level of beneficiaries connecting lessons to observations of the social and natural environment.
Despite coming from varied agricultural communities, many youth fled their respective country due to civil conflict before engaging in the social-economics.
The program ensures the beneficiaries reap hands-on experience, passion, and a broader approach to become socially responsible and knowledgeable agents in their decision-making.
The sustainable agribusiness project fosters economically viable concepts, ecologically sound and socially supportive farmer and community. It echoes our concern with the long-term viability of agribusiness, cultivating personal resilience, and respecting environmental health.
Dedicated development funds from Manos Unidas in corporation with Focolare Movement.
- Focolare Movement
- Manos Unidas
Challenges and how they were overcome
Implementing a pilot project comes with challenges such as:
Beneficiaries had competing needs to cater for their families and this lead to high dropout rates. To overcome this, JRS in consultation with the beneficiaries developed a flexible timetable to allow everyone the opportunity to participate in the farm activities.
To mitigate effects of the prolonged draught that affected farming in the beginning of the year, we put into place hydration measures to harvest rainwater to irrigate when necessary to enhance production of vegetables.
Some beneficiaries suffered financial shock in the beginning and to mitigate this we offered them with safety net support to cushion them and reduce the impact on their daily life.
Results of the Good Practice
- Comprehensive sense of agribusiness supply-chain and its connection to the environment.
- Confident in business plan development, marketing and financial literacy.
- Strengthen teambuilding among participants whereby small formal savings groups are beginning.
Vincent Wanyoike, Livelihoods Coordinator, Nairobi Urban Project, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)