This week at work I finalized my project proposal for the summer and presented my project to everyone at KMET. I am working with a group of community members in a slum in Kisumu to help renovate a rabbit house that they have. As part of the Urban Livelihood project at KMET, this group was given 14 rabbits last November as a way to start a business. These members, as a collective group, would breed, raise and sell rabbits for a profit for the foreseeable future.
The story doesn’t end there however. Since the Urban Livelihood funding ended at the end of last year, the rabbits haven’t been doing so well. Since they didn’t get any more funding, they were unable to finish the house that they were building. This means that the rabbits are in very cramped quarters. Since the rabbits are so cramped, the sanitation in the house is very poor. This has caused 3 of the rabbits to die. Also, all babies that have been born have died as well because of improper sanitation and a lack of space.
After seeing the house and hearing about their struggles, I decided that I wanted to make this what I focus on. The group has made no money on the rabbit project which is discouraging to them because they were told how profitable this business was. My thought was that if the house could be fixed, or rebuilt, then the group could properly breed that rabbits and begin making money which was the initial intention of the project.
The group wants the rabbit project to work, but they don’t have the funds to make it happen. So, I met with some successful rabbit farmers and looked at their houses and talked to them. The houses they have are very sanitary. The excrement just falls through the wire floor, so cleaning has to happen less often. There is also a lot of space for the rabbits to live in and no overcrowding. We had the farmers come to see the Obunga group’s house. They talked for a bit with the group leader and us about the importance of sanitation and how it was currently lacking. They said that a new house could be built and would be able to fit 50 rabbits. That is a lot more than the group ever expected to be able to have. So, we decided to plan to build a house with the help from the farmers.
Next week I will meet with the group to finalize the plans to build the new house. They will be travelling to the farmers’ place to see the house that theirs will look like. That way they will be able to put a vision to their new project. As part of the project, the group must contribute part of the cost; this is a way to have a sense of ownership in the project. It is my hope that the group will be very excited at the sight of the farmers’ house and they will be able to visualize the success that will be coming for them once the new house is built.