We work with small local communities to find areas where there are opportunities for growth, and this time we found ourselves in Mariakani, Kenya.
In 1963, after years of fighting for the rights of their own land, Kenyans gained back their independence from British settlers. With this new independence, they now had the opportunity to run and control their own production facilities like the dairy facility in Mariakani. We joined forces with Choice Humanitarian and Kenya’s in-country director, Dr Rita Lugogo with a mission to restore the idled dairy and help the local community run and profit from its production.
A profitable dairy could be part of an economic foundation supporting hundreds of cattle farmers, dairy employees, and logistical/marketing contractors throughout the region. The dairy already had a head start with the Mariakani brand being well regarded as the dairy that paid for the childhood education of many of the professionals and business people.
Even better, a number of local Kenyans had already been introduced to the project and trained in various aspects of the operations and business, thus building a strong foundation to build leaders and future employees. All of the aspects to the enterprise were truly shaping up to be world-class.
After observing the progress of the dairy made by the community and other assisting organizations, Leadership Outfitters, along with Choice Humanitarian, stepped in to move the project forward. Leadership Outfitter’s founder Lowry Redd, along with his wife Kim, set off to Kenya for 3 months to assist operations.
Rita led the dairy’s board of directors, Lowry served as Acting Managing Director and several locals were assigned to execute operations.
Within two months the dairy and supply chain were operating largely under the control of the three local managers and their dozen direct hires. It was the first time that many of the over 200 farmers had been able to reach a market with milk from their family cows.