As a preacher at the Central Adventist Church, Ayubu is a pillar of the local community. “I teach children and young people about the Bible, that they should not steal or do bad things. I am very happy that Raleigh can come and offer this training and opportunity because offering alternatives to young people is very important here so that they can make a good and honest life for themselves.” Ayubu is a hardworking man. As well as his involvement with the church, like many others in the village, he supplements his income with agricultural activities. He grows maize, tends chickens and keeps animal livestock, though he says it is sometimes difficult to make money as price fluctuations can absorb profit and harvest quality can vary because of the unpredictable rains.
Abuyu says he joined the Raleigh Entrepreneur program as it was his dream to set up a shop in Ibumila market selling high-quality animal feed. Through technical training offered by the East African Dairy Development (EADD) and Raleigh volunteers, Ayubu was able to learn business and finance skills as well how to produce the highest quality animal feed and make a profit. By creating a sound and viable business plan with Raleigh and its partners, he was able to secure investment from the village SACCO and is currently in the process of setting up his new trade. Ayubu explains, “because I was successful, I can share my knowledge with the new entrepreneurs and show them how to present their business plans. Many young people are waiting around for the government to help them but I teach people in church that you have to help yourself and with the right support and training, this is now possible.” Ayubu gestures to his surroundings and explained that he did not have a house before, but through hard work he has been able to build a home, marry and have children. He explains that through Raleigh he will now be able to further improve his quality of life beyond basic needs, and his earnings will extend to sending his children to secondary school and providing a secure income that guarantees his family’s future.
Ayubu has presently had both group sessions and one-on-ones with the current Raleigh entrepreneurs. Joshua Matthew, a twenty-five year old agricultural worker who wants to move into milk distribution says, “I am very happy I have Pastor Baba as my mentor, he has helped me with my business model canvas and has given me the confidence to believe I can do this. We do not get many opportunities in this village to learn new skills like this but I know I have the passion to succeed. Some of the training material and homework has been complicated, but Baba went over it all with me and has helped me shape my idea into something solid. I have married this year and if I can set up my business and create an income for a better quality of life then I will be very happy to bring my son or daughter into this world.”
Finishing our chai, Abuyu thanks us for coming and says Raleigh is always ‘karibuni’ in Ibumila village. With Raleigh offering tangible opportunities and community partnerships in Ibumila, we can all work together to achieve our collective goals of improving livelihoods and sustainable economic growth.