Joseph Mulwa is a young man who is always determined to survive regardless of the challenges that life brings his way. Although Joseph attained enough points to join college, he did not due to abject poverty. His parents could not afford to pay his school fees, as a result he lost hope in life and joined bad company which led him to engage in vices such drug abuse. This however changed once Joseph encountered DOT's ReachUp! program.
Joseph Mulwa is a young man who is always determined to survive regardless of the challenges that life brings his way. He is the second born in a family of five children and completed his "O" level education in 2010. Although Joseph attained enough points to join college, he did not due to abject poverty. His parents could not afford to pay his school fees and as a result he lost hope in life and joined bad company which led him to engage in vices such drug abuse. This however changed once Joseph encountered DOT's ReachUp! program.
February 2011 will always remain etched in the mind of Joseph Mulwa. On this day Joseph met David Mwangi, a former DOT Intern at a youth event in Machakos, who shared with him information about Reach Up! Program and on that very day Joseph registered to begin his class at Kenya Red Cross Centre in Machakos town. "I will never forget that day" he says. Ann Mugatha (former DOT Intern now an active alumni) who was Joseph's facilitator at Kenya Red Cross in Machakos says "Joseph showed great interest in Reach Up! Program and was always keen to learn". Asked what he liked most about the ReachUp! Program, Joseph says "I mostly enjoyed the Business and Livelihood Modules because they made me realize my dependable strengths, passion, interests and how to start a small business".
After successful completion of ReachUp! Program, Joseph was confident that he had gained enough knowledge and ideas to make his ends meet and such he started sourcing for funds to start a small agri-business project. Luckily, his father on realizing Joseph's change in behavior and zeal to work for himself, he donated to him a small piece of land. Later Joseph came back to his trainer( DOT Intern) for coaching sessions regarding his agri-business idea. During his numerous coaching sessions, he was advised to visit Ministry of Youth and apply for a loan to make his agribusiness a reality. Joseph then joined a group 12 other young people and they successfully applied and received a group loan to fund their projects and although the funds were not enough to fund his project fully, he utilized the small he got to start his project
Six months post the loan, Joseph was able to produce tomatoes, pepper, watermelon, passion fruits, and oranges (short term crops), mangoes, avocados and Bananas (long term crops).
Pictured above, Joseph Mulwa, at his Machakos farm tending for his mango trees.
Currently, Joseph is among the leading people with Agri-business projects in Machakos. Asked about his next plan he says, "My future plan is to be able to produce enough fruits and vegetables to supply all supermarkets in Machakos and continue with my higher education... I would like to pursue diploma in Agriculture and livestock".
"Thank you to DOT for making me whom I am now, may you continue transforming and giving hope to other young men and women", he says with a beaming smile.
Joseph's story is a true indication that DOT is truly changing the lives of young people!