If you’re familiar with the Love Is Project story, then you know our roots were first planted in Kenya in 2012. Since then, we’ve been building deep and meaningful connections with our local partners on-the-ground—artisans and creative activists looking to build a better world.
About 4 miles from Nairobi’s City Center, lives our friend and local entrepreneur, Ben Omandi. Ben lives in a bustling slum called Kibera, a crowded town of more than a million people. Ben runs Bemos Craft Developers, upcycling bones, and horns in the products and jewelry. We’ve collaborated with him on a few of our projects. When COVID-19 hit Kibera, food became scarce. Threatened with the very real scenario of not being able to feed his family, Ben reached out to me (Chrissie here!) for support and we immediately asked, “How can we help?”
This is Ben Omandi.
Inspired by the victory gardens of yesteryear and Jesus feeding 5000 concept (Matthew 14:13-21), we looked at our collective resources and came up with the idea to grow and teach his sustainable farming practices to our community! Ben’s innovative approach to creating a local food source matched with our contributedseed money, has become the key to launching something bigger than we could have imagined.
We are so thrilled to introduce: the LOVE Grows Program.
Our first step with the LOVE Grows Program is to launch a long-lasting initiative to empower locals to grow their own farming practices and skills so families can thrive—physically and economically.
Ben’s new farming initiative is now being taught and implemented in the Kibera slums during the food crisis caused by COVID-19. Our five Maasai artisan beading villages residing in Tsavo, Kenya have already started vertical farming techniques (Fact: the Kenya climate and land in many areas makes planting traditional gardens nearly impossible). We are in awe of how Ben and his communities are taking action to not only survive, but THRIVE during this pandemic.
This month (and beyond), we’re committed to rolling out more farming and agricultural projects throughout Kenya with our artisan partners. Destined to impact more than a thousand lives, our goal is to make sure that our artisans—our extended family—have food to live. A secondary bonus is to support their livelihoods as they grow their new social enterprise ventures in farming and agriculture. In Ngong Hills alone, we are working to support 200 of our artisan families with 27 gardens planted so far that will feed 1,000 people.
Here are a few growing estimated impact stats from our LOVE Grows Program we’ve been able to implement in the past month!
We still need acres, equipment, seedlings, sheep, fuel, fences, farm tools, fencing posts, barbed wire, composted manure, and more. We invite you to do the same and to join us! Humbly, we ask you to help LOVE grow in ways you never thought imaginable.
Monetary donations are the quickest way to support this program and create the biggest impact.
Keep up with regular updates on how our Kenyan partners are growing their sustainable farming by liking this Facebook page.
Founder, Love is Project
P.S. The story continues no matter where you are in the world...here are a few visuals to really paint the picture of what we’re up to….
Sammy Semat teaching the Maasai moms how to prepare gardens in Ngong Hills.
Psssst: please enjoy this gratitude dance from the Maasai tribe in their new garden!
Tsavo Wildife Works—Hadithi Craft vertical garden projects in 5 Maasai villages including five water tanks installed.
New goats for our artisan groups in Ngong Hills.
More to come, everybody! More to come!