Mobilizing Farmers through the Power of Bicycles

VOICE Volunteer Impact Story

Janet Akoth

Janet Akoth Bulo, a widow, is taking care of her children and grandchildren through farming, making and selling charcoal and sisal products such as ropes, baskets etc. She also grows cotton and soya beans as cash crops, maize, vegetables, and cassava for consumption and sale. The bicycle helps transport her produce to the market and the cotton and soya beans to the co-operative. Her grandchildren no longer miss school and enjoy biking to school.

Jenesa Akoth Bulo

Jenesa Akoth Bulo is a widow with twins aged 13, who grows vegetables and cereal for her family’s consumption and sells some to raise funds for fertilizers and seeds for the next season. Janet has built a makeshift stand/stall at the corner of her home, which serves as a grocery store, and she uses the bicycle as the main means of transport to re-stock her groceries and get water from the well.

These are two of many stories from Kenya. The Pedaling with Purpose initiative, started in January 2022, helped mobilize over 97 farmers in rural Kenya. On International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2022, we celebrate our theme of commitment to solidarity. The aim is to act together and act now and stand in solidarity with each other. Please read the blog by our national volunteer, Evelyn Olunja, Chief Executive Officer at Kenya USA Diaspora Sacco, led the pilot project.

Limited access to transport and challenging roads affect the lives of people and communities living in rural areas. In rural Kenya, transportation tends to be expensive, unsafe, and crowded. Access to social amenities and markets is a major challenge to most farmers, discouraging farmers from making trips to the markets. The lockdowns during COVID-19 further aggravated the situation for farmers, and without access to markets for inputs or to sell their produce, the food security of these communities was affected.

The Co-operators purchased bicycles that provide smallholder farmers with an affordable, time-saving, and eco-friendly method of transportation designed to withstand the African terrain. Bicycles are unisex, have robust, puncture-proof tires, and include carrier frames holding up to 100 kg of goods, e.g., seeds, supplies, etc. The families can also use bicycles to safely transport children to school and improve access to health services.

Through the Bicycle Project, over 97 farmers from three counties -Narok, Homabay and Migori. received bicycles which go a long way in assisting women and girls who bear the brunt of scarcity to access markets, schools, health facilities, etc. Farmers can now access inputs and sell their products with their bicycles at no extra transport cost. The women also use bicycles to access water from the wells for household use.

Our programs create impact and align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. By leveraging the power – and empowerment – of the bike, your donations will be mobilizing people to take care of themselves and the planet. Read more about the Pedalling with Purpose Campaign and Donate Today!














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