In the communities where ChildFund works, we partner with local organisations who, with the support of our Kiwi donors, are able to create long-term solutions that help children and youth to thrive.
In Emali, Kenya, families are vulnerable to drought, which can wipe out their crops and leave children hungry and without the basic necessities. To address this, ChildFund, along with our local partner the Emali Dedicated Children's Agency, have been working since 2015 on a project to create local milk collection centres for farmers to process and distribute cow's milk for income. This project was funded by ChildFund supporters and the New Zealand Government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).
As the farming area in Emali is vast, ChildFund deliberately established these five facilities so that farmers can deliver the raw milk quickly and efficiently. If a farmer delivers to a nearby milk collection point, it will then be quickly transferred to one of the milk collection centres to be stored in the industrial-sized cooling tank.
Cows and their milk has always been a big part of life in Emali. Culturally, owning cattle is very significant for Maasai farmers. It is also said that for Maasai, the man owns the cows and the women own the milk as they are the ones to the milk the cows and feed it to their children. By developing a milk business where farmers can use their existing livestock and milk supply to earn a regular income, families can now provide for their children (even during drought).
With regular income from milk, children can have three healthy meals a day, their parents can afford electricity, school uniforms and books, go to the doctor and dentist, and give their children the best start to life.
Moving forward, the farmers will continue to work together through the cooperative, continue training, improving their breeds of cows and their fodder. Also, the cooperative’s dream is to establish a fully-operating dairy processing plant where they can pasteurize their milk and make cheeses and yoghurts.