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Fairtrade Eastern Africa | January 23, 2020

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Gikanda Farmers Co-operative Society brings schools closer to the people.

Gikanda Farmers Co-operative Society brings schools closer to the people.

Education is the key to success, goes an old saying and to a child in Gikanda, education means having a school closer to the home and being able to complete the entire system.

Gikanda Farmers Co-operative society has taken long steps into the sector; assisting children in the community complete their education.

25 year old Patrick Muriuki, had nobody to pay his secondary school fees, when he completed his primary education in 2005. This forced him to spend two years working in people’s farms to save money so that he could join secondary school in 2007. The money he saved was able to see him through form one and two, but when he was to join form three, Patrick had no money. He had to stay at home.

“I attempted suicide as a result of the frustrations I had,” says Patrick Muriuki. Despite the low moments, Patrick was convinced that he will complete school. His neighbour, who had gotten wind of his suicidal attempts, introduced him to the chairman of Gikanda Farmers’ Co-operative, Mr. Charles Muriuki who promised to fund his school fees for the remaining years till completion of his high school education.

He says deep inside him, there was a voice that kept telling him, you will complete school. When neighbors heard of Patrick wanting to commit suicide, one lady introduced him to the manager of Gikanda Farmers Co-operative Society Mr. Charles Muriuki.

“We did not wait for the board to approve. We immediately released the money for Muriuki’s school fees”, said Charles.

Patrick studied and completed his high school education with funds from Fairtrade premiums.

“I am now a farmer, growing passion fruits, coffee and I keep animals”, he says, while attending to his pigs, goats and cows.

Patrick Muriuki was one of three needy children that Gikanda farmers have assisted in paying for school fees through premiums from coffee.