They start by watching animations on TV, then practice on the farm

by James Kamuye Kataru

Back in the Mung’ang’a community where we established the first SAWBO network group four years ago, the team has adopted a unique way of accessing and adopting SAWBO animations. While receiving a donation of two bags of sweet potato vines from Kataru Concepts Africa on 20th November 2023, the group leader Violet Mapesa in the company of other women demonstrated how they approach the uptake of animation content in their community.

Members of a local CBO from the Mung’ang’a community, Mumas East, Kakamega county receive a donation of two bags of sweet potato vines from Kataru Concepts. Photo Credit: Kataru Concepts

Storing animations on a flash drive

According to chair lady Violet, group members meet the last Saturday of the month in a member’s house. The rotational meetings are used to discuss group programs and projects, which include table banking, also referred to as “merry-go-round” where, a percentage of members’ contributions is used to buy utensils for the host, and implementing several farming projects which include sweet potato, maize, and bean farming done on leased farms.

The group selects an animation video of interest, then uses a local cyber café to download and store on a flash drive, and watches it on television in one of their member’s houses. A translator is always present to translate videos that are not in local languages or Swahili to the benefit of all members. Photo credit: Kataru Concepts

Due to the lack of smartphones and the unstable network in the community, the group has adopted a simple way to access, watch, and implement SAWBO animation video content by doing the following:

  1. Selecting a video of interest from the SAWBO Library.
  2. Using a local cyber café to download the video to a flash drive.
  3. Watching the video from a member’s house as they discuss the procedure captured.
  4. Practicing the knowledge on their personal and leased farms.

On this occasion, the group gathered to discuss business and receive a donation of sweet potato vines brought in from another network group in Bungoma County.

Applying knowledge learned from animations on the farm

Watching animations on television has helped members equip themselves with the educational information they use to easily manage their maize, beans, banana, cassava, sweet potato, and vegetable farms. Animations in Swahili have helped group members understand the content much better since this language is widely spoken in the community. Occasionally, when they encounter animations that don’t have Swahili translations, one member is selected to translate the content to others in the local Wanga language.

While on the farm, members remind each other of the procedures outlined in the animation, they had selected to implement. For instance, on this occasion, farmers were planting sweet potato vines after watching the animation on “Sweet potato roots for timely planting material,” which according to the farmers has two parts;

  1. Vines development/multiplication.
  2. The actual preparation of land and planting of the sweet potato vines.

Farmers planting sweet potato vines in a group event as they remind each other of the procedures they watched on television. Watching animations on TV screens can be used in places where there is no internet connectivity and in the absence of smartphones. Photo credit: Kataru Concepts

When groups and individuals become creative in how they choose to access and implement animation video education, the network expands greatly as the adoption rate of videos increases. It is satisfying to see users owning the process and creating great impact hence making SAWBO a household name.

As Kenya and Africa experience the growth of internet service provision, enterprising youth are bringing cyber cafes to their village shopping centers to provide basic services such as typing, printing, browsing, and photocopying. In these cafes, our network finds partners involved in accessing, downloading, and storing animation videos for farmers on flash drives so they can watch them at home.

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