From A tobacco seller to a reformed Peace Ambassador- The Story Of Yarangiro Kaitalel.

“When I Joined Korosion Self Help group, I was a tobacco seller something that had made all my neighbors despise me and my family as well. My wife who was the group chair lady then encouraged me to join the group and work with other farmers. Having no friends, because of my business, I saw this as a good idea and an opportunity to redeem my image. I did not leave my business though but got interest in keeping poultry. I started buying a chicken or two each market day and started rearing them. As my savings grew, I qualified for a loan which at first I wanted to invest in my tobacco business. I was however persuaded by other farmers and my trainer Edmond and decided to farm water melons instead. Unlike selling tobacco, farming was labor intensive and time consuming but I was happy because other farmers in my group were always supporting me whenever I needed help Through the SHG Peace and conflict resolution module, I saw the need of changing my business for the good of the community. In as much as tobacco was fetching me good money, it was breaking families and making wives and children go hungry and lack basic needs. I stopped selling tobacco and focused on farming as well as poultry keeping. I also started attending church services and came to appreciate loving others and doing good always. I started paying more attention to my family and even started helping my wife back at home something I would never have done in the past. I also started encouraging other men to love their families. I would attend chief’s barazas to encourage other to embrace each other and live in harmony. Through my peace initiatives, I met elders of the Marakwet community and persuaded them to work with Pokot farmers and have a common farming project. This was meant to reduce animosity between the two communities and make them see each other’s importance. This approach has not only brought peace but has increased food production in the area as well. I was also appointed the Joint meeting chairman heading a total of 33 Self Help Groups with a total of 495 members from four sublocations in Lomut ward. This forum has also made it possible for me to preach peace and for the groups to work together towards achieving development. I am happy and I thank God for SHG which has transformed me and changed my beliefs. I have learnt to be neat and even dress decently. I have learned to respect women especially my wife and above all I have learned that it doesn’t matter how much money one makes, what matters is how many lives one changes.”

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