Lorna Wanyama from Maande village, Busia in Kenya

‘My parents were peasant farmers so gardening to us was the means for livelihood and survival. When I finished school, I joined an agricultural institution. I am an agricultural community extension worker with vast experience.

Our mandate is to promote growing of food for food security, income generation and nutrition improvement. My community has malnutrition-anemia, low birthweight, child mortality and stunting so our focus is on children under 5, mothers of reproductive age and the elderly.

I work for the best interest of our farming community and their hard work keeps me going despite the challenges of unreliable rainfall and prolonged drought. I have done TOT-training of trainers program on Agri-nutrition so I provide education and training to schools and communities by promoting school gardening and teaching preparation and utilization of food. We do crop diversification and grow drought tolerant crops/smart foods such as sorghum, finger millet, cowpea, green grams, groundnuts, sweet potato, cassava etc. We use water efficient techniques like multi storey gardens, container and vertical gardens, key-hole, moist gardens as a climate change adaptation strategy.

During my Agriculture missions I meet girls who drop out of school during their menses because they can’t afford sanitary towels,so I have done a course and now I am an ambassador for women health by Days for girls international so I train schools and women of reproductive age on menstrual hygiene management and if I am lucky to get a well wisher then I also supply them with sanitary towels, panties and soap.

I also promote energy saving stoves called rocket stoves and clean lighting using solar lamps in a bid to reduce indoor air pollution related diseases. My goal is to see this community being food and nutrition secure with low levels of stunting and malnutrition. I would also like to see the girls being able to access sanitary supplies so that they go through their mensuration days without shame and stigma and focus better on their education to achieve their dreams.”