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From Dry Ground to Green Oasis: Nilwa's Journey to Vegetable Gardening and Agri-business.

Resilience Action International Entreprenuership Training
Nilwa at her vegetable garden (left) with Livelihoods Coordinator during Project Evaluation visits

At Arrupe JRS center, in Kakuma 1, stands a flourishing farming ground known as Kakuma Social Agri-ventures. Co-founded by Nilwa Karaka and her business Partner Dominic- both are former beneficiary of Resilience Action International's (RAI) entrepreneurship program- this agri-business cooperative has transformed the dry and dusty environment into a thriving oasis of greenery. Pumpkins, watermelons, kunde, 'mrere,' and cassava leaves (sombe) grow healthily under their careful tending.

The inception of Kakuma Social Agri-ventures was sparked during Nilwa's entreprenuership training at RAI, although the idea initially seemed far-fetched in a place like Kakuma, where rainfall is scarce. Nevertheless, with the support of her co-founder, Dominic Amanya, Nilwa has turned her vision into a reality and encouraged others to join her in this green venture.

Giving back to the community has become a significant outcome of this initiative. Nilwa expresses, "This venture has helped me in giving back to the community. At least we are able to provide a healthy affordable alternative to the community." By offering fresh, locally grown vegetables, the agri-business has contributed to transforming the dietary options within the camp. The majority of vegetables in the area were previously imported from distant towns, resulting in higher prices and sometimes stale produce upon arrival.

Participating in the three-month Entrepreneurship program equipped Nilwa with valuable skills, empowering her to navigate and manage the agri-business more effectively. However, she faces challenges like the scarcity of water, availability of vegetable seeds, and fertilizers for the farm. Despite these hurdles, Nilwa remains optimistic and aspires to find sustainable solutions to support the growth of her business, ultimately benefiting her community even more.

Resilience Action International Entrepreneurship Training
Nilwa showcasing some of the vegatables at her garden in Kakuma 1

Nilwa finds immense joy in cultivating crops and providing her community with a healthy alternative. "Growing crops is enjoyable. The satisfaction I get from growing healthy vegetables and providing the community with a healthy option is quite fulfilling," she shares with a smile.

As she continues to steer her agri-business through its challenges, Nilwa expresses her gratitude for being a beneficiary of RAI entrepreneurship program. Her vision is to expand Kakuma Social Agri-ventures, reaching more people and ensuring access to fresh vegetables for the community. Through dedication and determination, Nilwa Karaka's journey exemplifies the growth and positive impact that social agri-ventures can bring to challenging environments like Kakuma.

1 Comment

Jul 28, 2023

Nilwa Karaka and Dominic's Kakuma Social Agri-ventures are an inspiring story of entrepreneurship and community-driven initiatives. Despite facing challenges like water scarcity and limited resources, Nilwa and Dominic's determination to create a thriving farming ground in Kakuma has improved dietary options, reduced dependency on imported produce, and strengthened the local economy. Their participation in Resilience Action International's entrepreneurship program highlights the importance of empowering individuals to pursue their visions and ideas. Their commitment to social entrepreneurship, where business endeavors are driven by making a positive difference in people's lives, is heartwarming. Nilwa's vision for expansion is crucial in social entrepreneurship, as scaling the initiative can significantly impact the community and inspire others to follow suit. Kakuma Social Agri-ventures serves as…

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