On 1 June 2012, Kickstart celebrated a great milestone – the first harvest from the new farm at Olturoto Children’s Village.
Over the last 18 months Kickstart has focussed on developing a commercial farm at Olturoto Children’s Village. Establishing a local income stream was considered a vital aspect of the project, taking initial priority over the construction of homes for the children.
“Kickstart has defined a long-term exit plan for our involvement with Olturoto Children’s Village. We are determined to provide the local community with a children’s village that they can be proud of and one that they can feel confident to run without any further assistance from Kickstart. The farm is crucial to achieving this goal of empowerment through providing food security and a sustainable local income source” says James Woodward, founder of Kickstart Kids International.
The first two days of harvesting produced 300kg of chillies and beans that has been sold to a Kenyan exporter under an exclusive supply contract. The produce from the Olturoto Children’s Village farm is exported fresh via air freight to a major supermarket chain in the UK. There are currently five full time local staff working on the farm who live in on-site accommodation constructed by Kickstart.
“We have a reliable water source from our borehole, great climate, virgin soil and a vibrant overseas market that are keen for our produce. This is great combination for us. With the farm starting to fund itself we are now in a position to move onto the construction of homes for the children” says Solomon Choge, one of Kickstart’s in-country Kenyan directors.
Construction of the first home for the children will commence in July 2012.