"Agriculture is the Backbone of our Nation"

Thursday, 11 June 2015


"To make our wills obedient to good and to avoid all evil, is to show the greatest wisdom. In order to follow this aim, one must be guided by religion. Progress without religion is just like a life surrounded by unknown perils and can be compared to a body without a soul.

Knowing that material and spiritual progress are essential to man, we must work ceaselessly for the equal attainment of both. Only then shall we be able to acquire that absolute inner calm so neccessary to our well-being." H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I.

Greetings of Love.

May this find you all in blessed heights.

Last time we interacted here, the volunteers at the H.I.M Negus Shiriki C.B.O community demonstration farm were preparing for the long rains, the clouds already hanging low and the heavens exploding in dramatic  displays of lightning and thunder. We have not been disappointed at all. The rains have pounded the earth relentlessly through April and May. As indicated in an earlier post, at the farm we have been proactively working throughout, and not waiting for the traditional planting seasons. The rains therefore found a number of crops already growing, boosting them to good effect. We naturally went on a planting spree to cover every single space which called for it. Working in this manner, ensures that throughout the year you are harvesting as well as putting more seed in the ground. Thankfully, the farm is currently a virtual forest of food!

At the H.I.M Shiriki C.B.O farm
When it rains and you have planted as appropriate, you get a respite from the land, to allow nature run her course with the germination process. What do you do then?

Well at Shiriki, the volunteers go full out to express their art potential. The creative juices are flowing freely, and you give yourself to it, enter the zone. This time we all set to explore new ground with the art products, from the sandals, personal ornaments and accessories, mosaics and others. As LIFE would have it, we got the opportunity to link up with the Export Promotion Council, an arm of the government trade ministry.

Rebecca and Joan, representing EPC, with Faya Nganga
 The Council aims to promote enterprising projects on the ground to step up a level and therefore reach their desired markets local and international. This takes in such aspects as product improvement, any required registrations, setting up exhibitions and helping link with both experts and buyers.
Ras Abasa, Faya Nganga and Sister Njoki are all ears as Joan takes them through the paces
H.I.M Negus Shiriki C.B.O was entered in the program with other enterprises throughout the country, and through a rigorous step by step assessment and elimination process, we are honoured to report that we are among the few left standing. We are currently preparing for two exhibitions, the regional one to be held in the capital, Nairobi, and the next international one in a different country. We will keep you posted on the developments.
Improved products
During this same period, some of the volunteers took time away for a working visit to the Kericho tea town, deep in the Rift Valley, right across the country. Sprawling tea farms as far as one can see, producing raw material for the brew which Kenya is worldwide famed for. Plantations upon plantations, and not a single food plant in sight.
Kericho welcoming committee
Anyway, our visit had little to do with tea. We went to install a mosaic we had been working on. For a whole year. The granite mosaic, created in the ancient method, is an epic forty square meters, and depicts the creation story as narrated in the Bible. The client for this is a newly elected Cathedral, the Sacred Heart, which is smack in Kericho town. The cathedral itself is a marvel of architecture and art , magnificent to behold. A truly humbling experience to be a part of this.

Man at work
The mosaic has been well received by the church going and the general public and it is our prayer that it will go on gladdening the hearts of many through generations, as well as inspiring those with artistic talent. A lot of appreciation goes to all those who participated along the way.

Art well appreciated
As you are reading this, we would like to reiterate one factor. That we maintain an open door policy to those who would wish to learn from any of the artistic or other endeavours we are engaged in. So if you are a young person from any walk of life looking to articulate your energies, reach out. There is a place for you. Of course we do not mean just young in age. Alternatively should you be an individual, group or organization with ideas or expertise to selflessly share with our community, come in.
Installing mosaic
We take this opportunity to thank all of you who have kept up with us through the reading of this blog. Good vibes coming from Ukraine and Russia, China, India, the US, Germany, Kenya, Greece, Belarus and all over. Keep it burning!


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