Timothy Cheplong is a 26 year old resident of Tendwo village, Ainabkoi/Olare ward in Ainabkoi sub-County. He is a graduate from Moi University with a degree in community development. With a university degree, Timothy thought that he had made it in life, little did he know how wrong he was. His search for a white collar job proved futile; he could no longer afford his basic needs as town life had become difficult for him. “As the saying goes east or West, home is the best, I decided to go back to the village. I faced a lot of mockery since most people believed that one can never lack a job after graduation,” narrated Timothy.
After a few months of recollecting himself, Timothy decided to do farming on a small piece of land allocated to him by his mother. He started farming and planted potatoes using a small amount of money, borrowed from a friend. Unfortunately, due to lack sufficient funds to buy pesticides and other inputs, all the potatoes dried up. “I was discouraged, I felt like giving up after such a bad beginning. It was then that I was introduced to the SEAL program by a teacher at Tendwo secondary school. The program by I Choose Life-Africa (ICL) offered trainings on economic empowerment, something that I really needed at the moment “he recounts.
Timothy committed himself to the training hoping that it would change his financial situation. ICL supported them to form a saving group which they named Tuamke Self Help group symbolizing a new dawn not only to him but to his community at large. In his group, they were trained on economic empowerment and entrepreneurship skills which included how to make savings, keep business records, coming up with business ideas and how to actualize the ideas. As time went by,he started seeing opportunities around him and he developed an interest in dairy farming.
‘I look forward to owning a ranch and upgrade my dairy farming into large scale to be able to serve the whole of Ainabkoi Sub -County with milk as well as starting a community dairy resource center where farmers can come and learn more on dairy farming’’, Timothy Cheplong
Through the Jiinue training, Timothy learnt the importance of saving on a daily basis which began to be both simple and enjoyable. Having consistently saved in the group over the past three months, he approached his group and got a loan of KSh. 14,000 as capital for his business. With this amount, he was able to buy his first dairy cow. Business was good and within two months, Timothy had serviced his loan and was ready to apply for another one. “I got another loan of Ksh.12 000 which I topped up and bought another dairy cow. It has been an encouraging journey since I have now grown to 3 cows that are producing an average of 15 liters a day and I sell a liter at Ksh.35 shillings enabling me to make Ksh. 20,000 a month and save half of it. For me I count this as a success in my life because today I am the bread winner of my family and I’m now able to pay school fees for my siblings” said Timothy.
Timothy looks forward to owning a ranch and upgrading his dairy farm to large scale production, to be able to serve the whole of Ainabkoi Sub -County with milk, as well as starting a dairy resource center where farmers can learn more on dairy farming. This will in turn create job opportunities for young people and improve the livelihoods of our community.