THREE COUNTRIES, THREE TRIPS, IMMEASURABLE IMPACT
WASHINGTON, July 25, 2015 /Medium/ – As President Obama travels through Kenya and Ethiopia this week, I am reminded of the incredible Africans I have met who are transforming their communities and countries.
Over the past year, I have had the privilege of leading three fact-finding trips to Africa with members of Congress, retired generals, policy advisors, and leaders from the private sector. Together, we saw firsthand the invaluable work and impact of America’s development and diplomacy efforts in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.
Here are some of the highlights from our trips.
Empowering a Kenyan Dairy Farmer
During a visit to Eldoret, Kenya—made famous by international marathon runners—I met Noah and his wife Irene during a visit to his farm. Noah is a small-scale dairy farmer, who began partnering with USAID’s Feed the Future program just a few years ago.
What I saw was transformational.
This new aid program wasn’t my image of handing out food to the hungry. Instead, it was empowering Noah and Irene with the tools they need to feed themselves—for life.
Through a translator, Noah explained how his two cows were not producing enough milk to feed his family, but after being trained on proper feeding, animal hygiene, and water delivery, Noah’s cows were not only producing enough milk for his family, but producing enough high-quality milk to sell in the marketplace.
This week, the annual Feed the Future report will announce that 10 million farmers have been lifted out of extreme poverty through the initiative, a remarkable transformation for parents like Noah and Irene. The power of giving a hand-up—not just a hand-out—is the future of our nation’s development programs and I can’t wait to return to Eldoret to see the thriving dairy exchange.