News Release

REAP Project Fights Poverty and Builds Food Security in Northern Kenya

This project directly benefits 1,200 women who support approximately 6,000 children and dependent family members.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has partnered with the Boma Project, a non-profit organization based in Kenya to support a 16-month long, nutrition-sensitive project, the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP), which was implemented in Isiolo and Marsabit Counties in Northern Kenya.

The project aims to alleviate poverty and food scarcity, build resilience, and empower women and girls, especially in the marginalized drylands in Kenya.

Due to recurrent cycles of severe drought and conflict over diminishing grazing areas and water resources, residents of this primarily pastoral and livestock-dependent region have recently been pushed even further into poverty. Men often leave their temporary “bomas” (nomadic homes) for months on end in search of water and pasture for their livestock. Women are left to protect the homestead and fend for themselves and the children. This project is a great step towards self-reliance, because it directly benefits 1,200 women who support approximately 6,000 children and dependent family members. The Church provided $250,000 for this project.

The official handover ceremony for this project, the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP), was on May 6, 2022 at Burat, Isiolo County, Northern part of Kenya.

Mr. Salamet Gitonga, the area chief of Laparwa, Isiolo county, said, “I testify that this project has directly benefitted and improved the lives of women in our community. Just take a look at them! That is enough testimony of this great project.”

Those attending the official launch included: the Boma Project Board and staff, led by their CEO, Mr. John Stephens; County Commissioners; the County Governments of Marsabit and Isiolo, led by the Deputy Governor of Isiolo, Dr. Abdi Issa; and Dennis Mukasa, the Area Self Reliance Manager.

The County Commissioner of Isiolo, Mr. Geoffrey Omodin, assured both the community and the partners, “It’s a great honour and respect for all the donors to come to our aid. The only way we can show our gratitude is by working hard to ensure all our businesses flourish.

“We shall give you all the necessary support from the government, both the national and the county governments.”

Speaking on behalf of the community, the Chairman of the Laparwa Council of Elders said, “As Elders of this community, we have seen the benefit of this program. In this program, you can only fail if you chose to fail. Initially, we only knew how to take care of livestock, but right now, we too can run a successful business!”

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