How we work

As our activities grew in number and scope, we quickly recognized the difficulties of administering a development program from 9,000 miles away. Poor communication, unfamiliar cultures and languages, distances between communities, and the need to be accountable for funds released posed major challenges. While our first partner, Mike Lawrence, did his best to manage our work, he had a safari company to run, and the demands of our projects were more than he could commit to.

At the same time, we came to value local self-determination and ownership of projects and knew we needed someone on the ground in Kenya to work with us. Our serendipitous meeting with Samuel Muhunyu in 2006 at the Slow Food Terra Madre meeting in Torino, Italy was just what we were hoping for!
As the Director of the Network for EcoFarming in Africa, Samuel was already involved in community development work in Molo. NECOFA’s primary focus is to encourage and educate farmers in organic agricultural practices, and within that mission, it currently supports self-help groups in such projects as the planting of indigenous crops and trees, school gardens in local primary schools, growing mushrooms and other vegetables for sale to restaurants, livestock programs, and more recently, establishing revolving loan programs. Our formal partnership with NECOFA began in January of 2008.

Today, NECOFA directs and coordinates the activities of our partnership in Kenya.
  • works with the beneficiary communities to identify needs and initiate projects
  • participates in fundraising
  • prepares regular progress reports on activities and projects
  • and ensures transparency, accountability and responsibility in finances and transactions.
Thomson ole Tenges, whom we also met at Terra Madre, manages our projects at Lake Baringo, his home area.

The role of FKSW is to monitor and evaluate implementation of activities and projects of the partnership; participate in fundraising for projects; help to build capacity of the implementing team; showcase projects and activities of the partnership around the world and initiate and sustain partnerships and collaboration with other international organizations/institutions and well-wishers.