How we work

We don’t ask communities what they need – we ask what they’ve got. We help them identify and value resources they already have: their land, their families, their communities and capacities. Together, communities build a vision of a better future. Then, through training in farming, and by tackling social issues such as gender inequality, we enable them to acquire both the hope and the skills to get there. We are well known for delivering distinctive programmes that blend gender equality and social development training, alongside farming systems and business development.

Who we work with

We work primarily with community groups, reach a high proportion of those most in need and marginalized from society.

65% of the people we work with are female
50% are widows
42% are single headed households, sometimes headed by children
20% are disabled or have HIV/Aids

Every family who receives a gift from chariots of mercy foundation promises to pass on a gift to another family in need. Whether it’s the first female calf, seeds, saplings or skills, each gift starts a chain of giving that continues to grow and grow. Importantly, they become donors themselves, restoring their dignity and pride.

Our approach to poverty reduction is simple and effective and the difference your support will make will produce visible and tangible results from day one. It is not unusual to see dramatic changes in the health and wellbeing of the families in the chariots of mercy foundation programme within a matter of months – it is a truly inspirational journey to share.

Our three pillars to our work

Gender and social development

Our local staff in Kenya help families develops a shared vision for their home. Women in particular are supported to raise their aspirations beyond subsistence farming. We help husbands and wives work out how best to share the workload and decision-making to achieve their vision. Families become more harmonious and prosperous, and children grow up happier, better educated and with wider horizons.

In three out of four households, women and men are now equal partners in making decisions about how to use the family’s land, and how to share the workloads.

Farming systems

We help farmers understand and map out the resources available to them within their community. Then we teach them the organic agricultural principles and skills they need to integrate these into a sustainable, biodiverse farm – without expensive artificial fertilizers or GM seeds. Techniques such as water harvesting, composting, vegetable growing, tree planting and animal husbandry are easily adaptable to each farmer’s own land and needs. As farmers start producing enough food to feed their families and sell a surplus, their confidence and self-esteem are boosted.

97% of farmers believe they can provide enough food and income for their families’ needs from their farms.

Enterprise

Once families are eating well and earning enough to send their children to school, we encourage them to think bigger. They learn money management so they can access savings and credit services. They discover how best to add value to their produce, and how to store it. They even group together into cooperatives, allowing access to more training, better infrastructure, and more reliable markets. They become resilient entrepreneurs, capable of making choices and in charge of their own futures.

By selling surplus farm produce, families’ income increases six-fold.*

Farming

Smallholder farming is the backbone of Kenya: nearly 70% of people rely on the land to feed their families and make a living.  However, poverty has seen traditional farming knowledge lost, forgotten or replaced with more intensive technologies.  Climate change challenges all forms of production. Too many families find that no matter how hard they work, they cannot make ends meet.

Gender Training – We believe that in order for families and communities to reach their potential and eliminate food insecurity, both men and women must play an equal role in running the household and farming the land.

Livestock management  We train farmers in animal husbandry, nutrition and veterinary care to make sure livestock are treated as one of the family.

Composting Farmers are trained to use manure and other green waste to make compost, which is then used to enrich the soil.

Selling surplus produce – Once farmers have enough food to feed their families, they can sell the surplus at market for an income.

Inter cropping  Growing two or more crops together can help suppress weeds; combat diseases and pests and improve the soil structure

Chicken and Cockerel

Chicken provides up to 200 eggs per phase– a vital source of protein and income

Ksh 1500 provides a pair of chicken to a child’s family. Chicken can be cared for by young children, and reproduce quickly for steady income.

Chickens are beneficial to every family in providing healthy, high protein food through their meat and eggs. Any surplus eggs can be sold in the community local market.

Chickens are a particularly good option for children as they’re easy to manage. They need little space and their droppings make great compost for thriving crops.

Together this pair offers multiple benefits for families. They provide food and give them the basis for their own small business, helping families work out of poverty.

  Did you know?

Families also learn how to build the best chicken houses so that happy, safe chickens keep laying and their manure is easily collected.

Goat ksh 4000

Goat kid a great addition to a family no- kidding

Ideal for small scale farmers, who can’t manage bigger livestock,

Goats are usually given to families in pairs, with the female goat already pregnant. The birth of a kid is a time of great excitement.

Females provide milk for the family to drink and surplus to sell in their community. Both males and females give excellent manure to help families with their veg production. Families often breed goats to generate more income, or keep some on their farm as a ‘savings scheme’.

Goats are a valuable part of our livestock programme, whether we give a local goat or a dairy goat. The type of goat given is dependent on the family’s needs. Local goats provide meat and manure and dairy goats are good for those with HIV/Aids, as the milk is packed with nutrients and proven to increase the effectiveness of HIV/Aids medication. And as goats have kids, not only do families have a healthy diet and healthy soil, but also more goats to sell or pass on to neighbors in need.

Farmers give their first female livestock to a needy farmer in the village

Calf ksh 7000

A promising future for a family

Families who receive a cow promise to pass on the first born female calf to another family in need. So this baby cow means a brighter future for the family it goes to.

The milk from a cow not only provides nourishment for the family, it also gives an income from sales of surplus milk. And the manure is magnificent for crops and vegetables – families report a doubling of harvest once they start using this magic muck on their land. This gift helps pass on all that promise to another family in the community.

Bee hive ksh 9000

A home full of honey makes a field full of crops

When you have little land or poor soil it can be hard to grow crops, but you can still harvest an airborne bounty.

By pollinating the area, bees increase crop yields, bringing immeasurable benefit to whole communities. They also give families wax and honey to sell and help in the cross-pollination of local plants

Did you know?

Honey gives children well around nutrition with extra income selling honey families can pay fees and pay for medication

Dairy cow ksh 120000

One cow is enough to provide a family with over 3,000 liters of milk a year.

That amount of milk is not only plenty of nutrition for the whole family; it also provides a steady source of income every phase from the sale of the surplus. We source good quality dairy cows in Kenya, giving farmers and their families hope for the future. By providing milk to drink and to sell and ample manure for their land, this gift of a cow will make a huge difference to a farming family.

Local cow ksh 20000

In areas where a dairy cow is not suitable, a local cow can be a blessing for a poor family. As well as reaping the benefits of manure for their crops, farmers can breed these Kenyan cows with high quality bulls to produce generations of excellent crossbreeds.

Families can use the offspring to help plough their fields or sell them at market to generate income.

When a local cow is given the first female calf is passed to another family in the community and so the gift continues on and on.

Educate a child ksh 10000

Teaching children on nutrition, hygiene, simple farming and life skills.

This gift supports our training programs in schools, where children are taught about the need for healthy and nutritious food, how to grow their own fruit and veg on a school plot, and the benefits of working together. Schoolchildren who have enough to eat are better able to concentrate on their lessons and are more likely to have a positive future.

When children are empowered without long term reliance on foreign aid, they are much more likely to continue their education.

SAFETY education

Access to safe families housing and supportive relationships combined with life skills training have resulted in a dramatic reduction in abuse, sexual violence, trafficking, and exploitation of vulnerable children.

Super stove ksh 3500

Making cooking safer and keeping trees standing.

Traditional cooking fires can produce lots of smoke which is harmful to health, particularly for the person doing the cooking. A fuel saving Super Stove directs smoke away from the cooking area, meaning families can gather together safely in their homes.

These stoves also use two-thirds less fuel than traditional stoves, which prevents deforestation and frees up the time usually spent collecting wood.

Did you know?

Chariots of mercy foundation works in an integrated way to ensure effects of training and acts of kindness are long lasting – families are given hope as well as means to create better future.

ENTERPRISE

Small business ownership increases earned income, savings, and community engagement. Empowered children have the resources to care for themselves, their families, and others in their community.

By selling surplus farm produce, families’ income increases six-fold.

Ksh 15000

Provides a parent living in a rural village with the tools and training needed to start a very lucrative trade in carpentry or any other locally lucrative business.

Solar Lantern ksh12000

Bringing families out of darkness

For many families in rural Kenya their day becomes even more difficult as soon as the sun goes down and darkness takes over. Candles are expensive and can be dangerous, and so with no access to electricity even the smallest tasks are a challenge without light. In particular children can find it very difficult to do their homework, study, or read. A Solar Lantern provided by Chariots of mercy foundation not only gives 30 hours of light to cook and work by, they can also charge mobile phones. This allows families to generate another source of income in their communities.

Families are given training in a wide range of areas, including: hygiene, nutrition, growing and business skills. Their new-found knowledge helps them to create a safe, nurturing environment for their children to grow up in.

They can also generate an income which allows them to pay for things like school fees. Chariots of mercy foundation staff will regularly visit families to help them out with their new skills; ensuring community knowledge is constantly expanding.

Chariots of mercy foundation works with some of the most marginalized people in sub-Saharan Kenya, including children and young people who have been children. This is often because their parents and guardians have died from tropical related illnesses.

Our work is tailored specifically to enable young and vulnerable people to create a stable home environment for themselves and their siblings. Once they learn how to grow nutritious food to eat and sell, we help them look to the future, and towards enterprise and further training possibilities