Fairtrade gains support from local leaders fundraising

13. Kipkelion fundraisingDine with a difference” – a campaign that was started by Fairtrade Foundation two years ago, with a goal of providing a small grant to Fairtrade producers was awarded to Kabngetuny women in coffee. Two years on, the project recently received local support at producer level.

Hon Justice Muturi, the speaker of Kenya’s national assembly led a host of local leaders in a fundraising event that raised a total of KES1.4 million (USD13, 475).

The USD12, 750 they had received two years ago through the campaign done in the UK, they purchased a quality Brazilian miller with a capacity of milling twelve 90-kilogram bags of maize per hour. Unfortunately, the milling process could not proceed, due to unavailable premises for storage. The women then started an initiative to contribute monthly towards construction of a building where the milling machine will be housed. This was to be established on a quarter of an acre piece of land, which they had purchased.

Recognising the efforts of the women, the Chairman of Kabng’etuny cooperative Mr. Samson Koskei together with the women leaders reached out to the area Member of Parliament (MP) for assistance.

The visit culminated in a fundraising event that took place on the 22nd of October 2016. The MP invited a host of local leaders including, the Speaker of Kenya’s national assembly Hon Justin Muturi who was the key guest of honour.

In addition to the cash that was raised on the day, materials for construction worth KES1 million (USD9, 817) including ballast, cement, twisted iron bars, and others were also contributed.

“We appreciate the work done by Fairtrade Africa in promoting and empowering our women and more so, putting us in the global picture which has made us attractive globally and within the local leadership. The leaders now want to know more about Fairtrade here in Kenya and worldwide. Most of them had not heard of Fairtrade in the past, but from what they have seen, they are now very interested.” said Mr. Koskei

The other local leaders present included Governor Paul Chepkwony, Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, amongst other MPs from the county.

The monthly contribution that the women had been doing, raised KES1 million (USD9, 817) of which they had used KES700, 000 (USD 6875) to start the construction.

Overall, they need 6.5million (USD64, 000) to complete the project and they are very excited at the progress they have made including the successful fundraising event.