From Lost to Leader

Agnes Lanyom grew up during the war and was forced to live in a camp where she was surrounded by unspeakable crimes. She joined Kira Farm as a downcast, anxious and insecure young woman. Today she is a strong and vibrant leader in her community, role-modelling a new way of living. She is independent, determined and successful!

‘I have lived most of my life in fear. I grew up in a displaced people’s camp during the war so life wasn’t easy, particularly as a girl. Fortunately my lovely parents always protected me so I didn’t get raped like so many other young girls.

‘Everything I witnessed in the camp made me feel like I needed the security of a man, so I got married quite young. Sadly, apart from the gift of my son Derick, all my marriage brought me was torture and tears. Instead of finding the security I so desperately craved, I became deeply insecure and anxious.

‘Despairing of my life and my marriage I prayed that I had made a good decision to join Kira Farm Development Centre. I spent the first three weeks at the Farm pretending to be happy like everyone else. It really was a beautiful place and for the first time in my life I enjoyed having a bed to sleep in and plenty of food to eat. However deep down I was scared that it wouldn’t last and soon I would be going back to my miserable life.

Showered in love

‘Thanks to the love and attention of the staff at Kira I gradually began to feel more secure, particularly as we learnt about God’s love for us. Over time I began to feel more confident and started enjoying myself like all the other trainees, without worrying about what would happen after Kira.

‘I’m so pleased to tell you that life back home is getting better every day. Kira Farm helped me learn to trust myself again and I knew as I left that I was an important person with the potential to make it in life.

Speedy success

‘Within the space of a few months I have been so successful I can take care of myself and my son without relying on anyone else! Using the tailoring skills I learnt at Kira I am making nearly £7.00 on a good day. I have also put into practise the business training we received and this has enabled me to set up a successful cassava chips business, making nearly £2.00 every day.

‘I have joined a village savings group (a traditional bank would be inaccessible to Agnes) and I am saving over £2.00 every week, I’m also putting a little aside to help out any group members who have problems.

‘I have secured half an acre of land worth £220.00 and so far I have paid £130.00 towards it. I know by the end of 2016 I will have finished my payment and the land will be mine so I can begin Farming God’s Way – this is the conservation farming techniques we learnt at Kira.

‘It makes me so happy that my son is able to get a good education because I can pay his school fees – something I could never have afforded before I went to Kira.

Helping others

‘Along with my fellow Kira graduates I have set up a youth development group at church which is 30 members strong and we are going to pass on our skills in Farming God’s Way and set up a pig rearing project.

‘I have also been appointed by the local council to encourage women to acquire land for themselves so they have freedom and choice in life and aren’t abused because of their gender or forced into marriage.

‘Thank you so much Amigos for all you have done for me! I never imagined I could ever live such a secure life. I am happy that I will never be a beggar or have to depend on anyone else to survive. I have full confidence that I will always be able to take care of myself and my son!’

Pictured: Agnes in her tailoring shop; Agnes with her son on the land she has acquired

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