Julia Wangui Mathara
I appreciate and practice the TIST Value of “Low Budget High Results”. It works very good for me as it helps in budgeting effectively, thereby I am able to buy food, pay school fees for my kids, and it is helping my husband to build a permanent house.
My name is Julia Wangui Mathara, a TIST Farmer and member of Caanan Small Group, TIST number 2008Ke517, Suguroi Cluster within Wiyumiririe region, Laikipia County.
In the year 2008, TIST expanded to my area through TIST Social Entrepreneurship (TSE) efforts. Jinarris Gachoya from Lamuria was the Team Leader.Among the first people to receive TIST was Daniel Ndumia. Daniel moved from home to home talking about TIST to everyone in the village.
I later started attending Cluster Meetings where I learnt more about it. We formed a Small Group and named it Caanan.
We were educated to plant all types of trees except the Eucalyptus, because it harms croplands, and not to cut the already existing trees, as they would be of great help to our environment.
We were also taught about Small Group weekly meetings. This helped us to work together and help each other. We began establishing tree nurseries and doing Conservation Farming. In addition to Cluster meetings, we have also learnt a lot from Mazingira Bora monthly newsletters. We have learnt many things like how to manage our health, diabetes, pressure, and we also learnt TIST values.
As we continued participating in TIST, the more we learnt new things. When baseline and tree quantification was done by Patricia and Virginia, we got to understand carbon business better. Though we had learnt it at the Cluster meetings, it is only when TIST Quantifiers came to our farmers that we really appreciated and understood the subject.
In TIST, I learnt new ways of making money from selling seedlings from my tree nursery. There are many types of species; Cyprus, Gravellia, Pine, and Casuarina. I have also added non-timber fruit seedlings like Tree Tomatoes, Sweet Banana, Yellow Passion, and Purple Passion seedlings. I am aware these non-timber seedlings won’t count for carbon, but I know they are good for nutrition. Today I have more than 2,000 seedlings.
I appreciate and practice the TIST Value of “Low Budget High Results”. It works very good for me as it helps in budgeting effectively, thereby I am able to buy food, pay school fees for my kids, and it is helping my husband to build a permanent house. Now I would encourage all members, especially new TIST members, to plant more trees and keep waiting and they will enjoy fruits of TIST. Moreover, I would call upon the government to help TIST,so that many farmers can begin taking action in planting and conserving trees and our environment.
(Story and interview done by David Wambugu Wiyumiririe, Kenya Cluster Servant, and published in TIST Kenya's March 2023 in-country newsletter.)