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With a little help from her friends

Kenyan farmer Selly and her son Timothy. Kenyan farmer Selly and her son Timothy.
Twenty-eight-year-old mother Selly from western Kenya used to scrape by working on other people's farms. With a little help from her friends, now she's her own boss, in charge of her family's future.

Not long ago, Selly's own means of earning an income was working as a casual labourer on a farm belonging to her neighbours, Emily and Isaac, whose farm was thriving after they'd learnt about growing and marketing French beans from Farm Africa.

With encouragement from Emily, Selly decided to join a young farmers group set up by Farm Africa, and hasn't looked back since. No longer reliant on work her friends could offer her, she's now successfully making a living from growing and selling her own vegetables.  

“I was taught how to do the planting, spraying and harvesting of French beans. I feel that it was good to learn and I am happy about it because now I apply it to my own farming." Farm Africa - Timothy with beans in Kenya

Since then, Selly has started to grow French beans on a small plot of land that she shares with another neighbour and friend, Ester, who is a member of the same farmers group. The pair work together and share costs.

“I rent a small piece of land (0.1 acre) from Ester to grow my own crops. We are neighbours so we got to know each other as friends. When I started farming French beans Ester gave me the land and I bought the seeds. We work together and share 50/50 the costs of the farm. We take turns doing the weeding and we help each other to harvest."

Selly is now able to save some of the money she is making with the French beans, and her dream is to be able to run her own company: "I want to open a business to help me pay for my son Timothy to go to university. He is in Class Four. He loves school and has never missed a day.”

Selly is one of more than 3,000 young women and men in Trans-Nzoia East who have received support enabling them to become successful farming entrepreneurs as part of Farm Africa’s Growing Futures project.

Farm Africa has exciting plans to expand this project and reach a further 2,000 young women and men in the neighbouring county of Elgeyo Marakwet, but needs your help to do so.

A gift of £8 could provide one young farmer with high-quality seeds and agricultural training, equipping them with the essential agricultural and business skills they need to make a profit not just this harvest, but every harvest.

If you live in the UK, between 14 October 2017 and 14 January 2018 all donations you make to Farm Africa’s Growing Futures appeal will be doubled by the UK government through Aid Match, so there's never been a better time to give.

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