Celebrating SAWBO animation success stories: Brian Otieno

by James Kamuye Kataru

In Kenya, the month of December is when families visit their rural homes and spend time with relatives on their farms. Long lost friends catch up and share experiences, slaughter the fattened cow, goat, chicken or turkey, and sink the joy and pain of the ending  year in merry-making. During Christmas festivities people get carried away in having fun as they prepare to end the year and usher in the new with lots of optimism.

In this month, farmers make a kill from chicken, goats, sheep, and other farm produce sales since as we celebrate December as the SAWBO family, I take pleasure to highlight some of our hardworking members who have practiced what they learned from animated videos through implementation on their farms. These are network volunteers who apart from using the videos to educate their communities, have gone further to prove that indeed the knowledge is enabling them to live a productive life.

Brian Otieno

I am an agro ecology farmer and an agricultural economist having pursued an undergraduate degree course in Agricultural Economics and Natural Resource Management from Moi University. The first time I came to learn or rather hear about SAWBO was back in 2021 while writing my project proposal. I came across an animated video by SAWBO as a YouTube ad on  proper bean storage technique which really upscaled my proposal.

“I remember back in school, we formed an agricultural group in which I was the Programs Coordinator. Most of the time it would be quite hectic getting other members to understand my approach towards agricultural production, especially from an agro ecological point of view. This was later on made much easier after joining the SAWBO NETWORK KENYA through Kataru Concepts and their animated videos, for example on how to make raised beds which really helped in elaborating what was on my mind. SAWBO has also come in handy to help my family in learning how to properly go about some issues for example dealing with diseases in poultry production.

Through SAWBO, I’ve been able to learn a lot, not only from their innovative and educational videos but also through direct linkages and interaction with farmers from across the country and some neighboring countries. Additionally, I have gained knowledge from farmer field days and exhibitions. SAWBO has also enabled me connect more with fellow farmers as I am able to simply and elaborately advise them on how to go about some practices.

I believe SAWBO has gone above and beyond not only as a tool for farmers but also to the entire human population since it covers a wide range of topics regarding issues that we face in our day to day lifestyles. As a farmer, I believe that SAWBO can do more and act as a tool to actually get the masses to understand and love agriculture as an important profession for our existence as humans. I believe if SAWBO would be able to make videos that actually capture some aspects of the school curriculum back in our secondary schools, this would really help towards equipping the young generations with the information and the zeal to pursue agriculture as a profession, and not only as a side hustle or retirement activity as it is mostly perceived here in our country, Kenya.

I have worked with SAWBO for almost six months now, since March, 2022 and honestly, it’s one of the best things that have happened to me as a farmer and as an individual, I believe we are yet to achieve more as we continue learning, educating and transforming lives through this initiative.

“Asanteni sana (thank you very much) and I welcome you all to try out SAWBO.”

Grace Saghe Mshambala

I am a public health officer situated in Wumingu /Kishushe ward Taita Taveta county. I came across SAWBO through the Kataru Concepts blog and thereafter followed and viewed the videos via social media platforms.

There was a lot of fear, myths and misconceptions during the Covid 19 pandemic being a new disease and no experience to handle it in the community.

SAWBO came up with Covid 19 videos on how to take precautions and prevention measures which were educative. Being a health care worker, I engaged my fellow Community Health Volunteers and shared the Covid 19 videos through WhatsApp and Xender share. I am grateful they embraced the videos and knowledge and helped to educate the families and community at large.

I can say SAWBO videos helped and made my work easier as I educated the community amidst the pandemic, and after that people could travel, go to the market and go to work with no fear because by watching the videos they learnt to take precautions.

Thank you SAWBO NETWORK KENYA team. Working with the network for one and half years has been of benefit. I have learned a lot.

These two are testimonies from our network volunteers that prove SAWBO has great content! Let’s keep reading more stories in the next blog post.

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