Daniel’s* Story

Born in the Mathare slums, a violent and gang-controlled area of East Nairobi, Daniel* grew up helping his mum run the family shop. From a young age, he ran errands and collected stock. Daniel is the youngest of three and hasn’t faced an easy path in his life. His older brother was killed when caught in a violent protest, his sister moved away, and his father died due to Covid 19 complications.

Daniel first experienced peace when he moved to Embulbul to live with his sister and attend school at the Edmund Rice Catholic Education Centre (ERCEC). Here, he joined the young farmers club and learned how to grow African traditional vegetables. The club meets three times a week under the guidance of their teacher, Makesh who shares practical knowledge about urban farming. Daneil has since started growing his own vegetables in a small 1m x 1m space at the back of his sister’s home which supplements the family’s daily food and nutrition. The club also sells excess vegetables to surrounding communities and are saving for an excursion to other farms to enhance their learning.

Daniel is currently attending secondary school at ERCEC. He hopes to influence and inspire his schoolmates to join the club and wants to change the narrative around farming within his community. Daniel is passionate about showing his peers the value in growing their own gardens to help feed their families. After graduating school, he hopes to join a tertiary institution that deals with agriculture.

Through dedicated teachers such as Makesh and the Growing Strong project, students like Daniel are seeing the value and importance of agriculture and farming practices as a way to reduce crime, unemployment and to ensure food security.

*Not their real name.
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