I bought a cow to supply milk to nearby hotels

The Cows bought by Dick Midamba Chune and the house he renovated

I started school when my mother had passed on and later my father passed on when I was in primary. Life was not easy. I had to put in extra effort to get an education which my siblings on the other hand did not get a chance to get. And despite no one offering career guidance, I remained focused and was able to go through school with the help of well-wishers and a community development fund.

I successfully joined Laikipia University to study Bsc Agricultural economics. Life at university was equally hard but I pressed on and passed with good grades. But even after passing with flying colors, jobs were hard to come by. I resorted to doing casual work.

One day, my former lecturer at Laikipia University, Dr Florence Opondo shared the MasterCard Foundation scholarship advert through my friend because I didn’t have a smartphone then. I quickly applied and several months later, I got a call from RUFORUM requesting to visit my home and make assessments.

Later, I also received a call that I had been awarded the scholarship to pursue a post graduate degree in Agri Enterprises Development at Gulu University in Uganda.

Since I got the scholarship, I have achieved a lot. I was able to pay tuition for my sister at Rongo University, who had been out of school for the past three years. My grandmother’s house was in bad shape, so I used part of my savings from the stipend to renovate it. Today she lives in a good house because of the financial support from the MasterCard Foundation. I also used my stipend to start a small grocery shop for my stepmother.

Early this year, I used the savings from my stipend to prepare our farmland, from which we have been able to harvest five sacks of maize. With this, we are sure of sufficient food in the house.

My next project is to install a maize mill in the community, so that my stepmother makes an extra income, and hopefully uses the income to register a village savings group. I thought it was a good idea to buy a cow for the family, from which we could get milk once it starts giving birth. Our aim is also to be able to sell the milk to the nearby hotels because its demand is high.

I have also spent a significant amount of my time at home to work on my research, which is ready to be defended and successfully taken part in a number of online courses, including a certificate in agricultural economics from the Western University of Australia and I am planning to do another online course in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning from Philanthropy University. I also hope to do a course in Climatic Change from the Western University of Australia.

After completing my master’s degree, I would like to do a PhD in Agricultural and Rural Innovations. With a PhD in Agricultural and Rural Innovations, I will be able to uplift many youths in the community through innovation and jobs creation within the agricultural sector, instead of waiting for white collar jobs.

The knowledge will also be critical in helping the community address the issue of hunger by finding innovative ways to increase and improve production. Many students and young people in my community still need a lot of support. My hope is to make Africa a better place. Thanks to RUFORUM for the support offered.

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