"Let there be no mistake; in modern Ethiopia, each man must contribute. There is no protection from the demand that each man's worth be assessed by his achievements. Education and learning offer no escape from the obligation of toil. Social place and high birth provide no guarantee of soft hands and a life of ease and comfort. High origins are no passport to high positions. To those who contribute willingly, to the best of their abilities, who in sweat and toil work for the good of the nation, with little thought of self, to them much will be given, even to the governing of the land. Nor should anyone mistakenly believe that only in the cities can he serve his country. The greater need today is among the people, among those who work the soil, who provide the nourishment and sustenance on which Ethiopia feeds. The University National Service Program has pointed the way. Today's younger generation must maintain ties with the people who are the bulk and backbone of the nation. The problem of the many must become the problem of the few, for only in this way the progress we earn can be long lasting and real and of benefit to all" H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I.
True to the name Shiriki, the tasks that the volunteers at H.I.M Negus Shiriki C.B.O have taken on have cooperation as the foundation. For no bird can fly on one wing. We aim to be one with the WHOLE as we go about our day to day. One with our fellow humans, our whole environment and what is in it, one with the HIGHER intelligence that orders life.
On a tangible level, we realize that finding and taking our place in the natural cycle involves pooling our energies together, for unto each are special gifts endowed, and thus together we complete the picture. In this vein, we seek to partner with all the various individuals and institutions who are discerning of the issues which are calling to be addressed. Winnie and David below are individuals who have joined arms with us to re-educate the community. Between them, they have tons of knowledge on indigeneous trees and natural farming.
|Winnie and David|
The work of the Shiriki organization’s volunteers focuses on helping to integrate the strengths of our community, to ensure a suitable social, environmental and economical standard. The volunteers, being mostly youth themselves, are in cognition of the fact that youth consist of the bulk of the population. Within this group is the physical energy, literacy, and an unbridled enthusiasm for life, begging to be well directed. In the frame too are the elders, the reservoirs of ancient knowledge. Then the infants. From there we have the institutions which man, in wisdom, has put together to organize these strengths; groups, community development organizations, the government. Our living environment in itself provides both the tools and materials, to go on creating.
|Shiriki volunteers hard at work|
The core partners are therefore the Shiriki volunteers who have come together, organized and centralized at Maragua, Kenya, to ensure that this spirit of cooperation in development is maintained for the benefit of all. I bow in respect, for the perseverance, hard work and selflessness that this group of youth continues to exhibit. The fruits of this are discernible at the farm where we engage ourselves in natural agriculture, community education and the arts. The efforts continue to be well appreciated within the immediate community and the wider community, who we are able to reach through the various means at our disposal.
|Ras Muiruiri educating the youth|
Beyond the actual members of the organization are the youth from the local and international scene who are progressively getting uplifted and involved in what we are doing. Through physical contact at our community demonstration farm, media, themed events, social networks, word of mouth and learning institutions, awareness is spreading. The youth are reaping benefit from the availed opportunities to learn, earn, grow and share.
|Chege, a community youth helping out at the Shiriki farm.|
Our next partners are our fellow community members within the locality, as well as all those all over the world who are carrying on these same tasks, those with whom we have interacted and those we are yet to. Through our three years in Maragua the avenues of cooperation with the community here have continued to expand. It is no doubt owing to the attitude of the volunteers; the progressive activities and sound human relations. It is as well owing to the openness of the people, who have embraced us and allowed us space for expression. Now through community forums, community outreach, social places such as markets, practical demonstration and farm visits and product exchange we are able to share seeds, knowledge, resources ,warmth and vision. We aim to play a part in benefitting the community through education, income generation, availability of better services and enhanced social interactions. To spread goodwill.
|Farmers from the community come visiting|
The efforts of the H.I.M Negus Shiriki volunteers have attracted the attention of development partners who work with our communities. Naturally it is easier for such institutions to work with groups who are already organized, as these are already focal points within the communities from whence knowledge, awareness and resources can be disseminated. We have been actively seeking such partnerships, for we recognize that there is mutual benefit, whereupon our capacity to apply ourselves to the task can be enhanced. At the same time these institutions get more access to the people on the ground and through these networks the opportunities for quality living in general are amplified. A special mention for the Biovision Farmers Communication Program for a truly living partnership.
|The media crew from Biovision FCP|
The government is our active partner, through its various organs. It is manifest that community development is assured when the people and the government work as a partnership. The people know their needs and aspirations best. The government is tasked with pooling resources and directing them towards addressing these pertinent needs. In this spirit, the ministries of youth, industry, agriculture and local government have and continue to work with us to serve the people. Through this partnership, the volunteers gain capacity building, networking and links, and forums to showcase and educate.
|The County Water Engineer, a government representative.|
How invaluable these partnerships are proving to be!
Dear Reader, it is only natural that we are meant to live heart to heart, and work hand in hand. The doors of H.I.M Negus Shiriki C.B.O are wide open. Follow your instinct…