Francis Omonya Jakaiti (48), Josephine Nasambu (45) and their seven children used to live in a small mud-walled hut with a thatched roof. Nowadays, they use that building for storage. They spend most of their time in a bigger, sturdier, more comfortable house, which Francis built himself, using the money made from his farm.

Inside, there is furniture, a television and photos hanging on the walls. Whilst Francis enjoys watching “anything to do with Kenya,” their son Oliver loves wrestling: “my favourite wrestlers are John Cena and The Rock!” They pay a little every week for the television and a solar light; a huge luxury considering that, in the past, life had been an endless battle to find food, with little room for anything else.

"I used to be a tobacco farmer but I was very poor. We were getting nothing from it."

Tobacco was a popular crop for many farmers where Francis and Josephine live. This was until one of the large companies moved out, leaving farmers with a crop they couldn’t eat and struggled to sell.

Today, Francis and Josephine make their living from growing vegetables and selling the produce from their dairy goats and chickens which they received from Send a Cow.

The only reminder of tobacco that Francis and Josephine have  is the small mud hut in which they once used to store and treat it. Now, when they look at it, it is filled with ‘bad memories’ and reminds them of a period in their life they’d rather forget.

We don’t grow tobacco anymore. We’ve left that behind.

From tobacco to mangoes

Thanks to Send a Cow training, Francis and Josephine are growing a wide variety of food crops including kale, groundnuts, beans, tomatoes and fruits. Their favourite things to eat from the farm are mangoes and papayas. Last year they made enough from selling mangoes to pay for their children’s school fees.

Now we have a balanced diet and we eat three times a day.

They’re making the most of their land and are even leasing an extra field so that they can expand and grow beans which they expect will make them $650 over the year.

Find out more about our work in Kenya