A fantastic trip to Litisha

By Jess Hamer

This is the second time that I have visited Litisha, and the second time I’ve left the village feeling totally inspired by the people there. The community are so motivated and are working hard to lift themselves and their children out of poverty. At COCO, we always listen to our partner communities to ensure that the programmes we support are exactly what they want and need, and that they are fully owned and led by the community. Litisha is an excellent example of how and why this works.

The new classroom to extend the nursery to a primary school.

The community received sustainable agriculture training back in 2011. The Kimamba Group (the CBO that we partner with in Litisha) have a community farm, which has been a huge success, and with the profits they set up their own nursery school, first renting and existing building before building their own purpose-built classroom, which is amazing!

But they have not stopped there, the group have big ambitions to expand this nursery school into a primary school, so that their children can continue receiving quality education within their village and continue being taught in English. They have already begun building a second classroom, have dug a well on site for better water access, and have made football and netball pitches for students and other children from the village to play on.

Condrada with her cow and new born calf.

The individual members of the group are proud of their own personal achievements too, having used their training on their own farms. Neighbours Damas and Condrada were excited to show us their newest achievements. Damas is currently building himself a house, something which 10 years he never dreamt he’d be able to do, and Condrada showed us her cow and new born calf. The community have always had the skills and ambition, just a little bit of support and they’ve changed their own lives.

Since the initial training, COCO bought the village cows to help produce manure and milk and last year installed a play area and disabled access to the classroom. Other than that, the community have come up with and implemented their own income generation schemes, with advice and support from our implementation partners Hoja Project.