On Wednesday evening we listened to a young man’s testimony of how he had worked his way from a children’s home, as a preteen to a teenager with his own land and four dairy cattle.
Patrick Kiplagat grew up in a children’s home. After his parents passing away, he was taken to a children’s home in Eldoret after being picked up from the streets, and cared for by two doctors. The doctors knew about ELI and placed him the home. Through Dr. Mumlley of AMPATH he was taken to the children’s home.
Patrick started his poultry through ‘reharvesting’ of corn. Together with a friend, they went through a corn field that had been harvested, and collected all what was left behind. They managed to secure 20kg of corn which they sold @KShs. 50/= which secured for them KShs. 1,000 which they divided and he got KShs. 500 (equivalent to five dollars).
With this 500/= he purchased one exotic chicken. However, his chicken could not lay any eggs, so he exchanged it with a neighbor whose chicken could lay eggs. He then borrowed a cockerel, and his chicken laid 10 eggs, which together with other eggs he had came to 20 eggs. From these, a total of 19 chicks hatched. Each time the chicks hatched he would separate them and add new eggs for the chicken to brood over. The second time he added 15 eggs and all hatched. He separated the new chicks and put them in a box. He took the hen to a neighbor’s house for two weeks. Meanwhile he kept the chicks under his bed, in a room that he shared with ten other children. Each time he would remove the chicks and place other eggs for the hen to hatch. When he got to 200 chicks, they’d filled up the house. At 500 chicks, he built a new house, and also sold many of the chicks.
He started rearing chicken when he was 10 years old. At this tender age, he had visited the ELI center and listened to what Isaac Ruto, one of the trainers had to say about raising chicken. It took him 5 months to get to 500 hens. Cockerels sold for 900/= and chicken for 500/=. At his first major sale he secured his first Kshs. 5,000/= (US$50), which he used to purchase his first sheep, which he took to his neighbor to have it serviced. However, his fortunes were not good. This first sheep was actually unable to carry a pregnancy. The flip side is that it became really big, and he was able to sell it for KShs. 10,000/= he then gave the money to his father, Ezekiel Moiben to keep.
Patrick then replenished his chicken to 200, and resolved to get himself a milk cow. He sole hens, and had saved Ksh.10,000. At 19K he purchased his first cow at the age of fifteen. He paid Kshs. 1,300 for Artificial Insemination services. He was soon collecting milk and was being paid at the end of each month. When he got to Kshs. 40,000 he purchased his second cow. He was now raising chicken, sheep, and two cows. Given the funds he had accumulated and a grant from ELI he was able to purchase land. He now does his own dairy and poultry feeds. Next he wants to purchase a pick up to supply sheep to big hotels.
When prompted to explain why or what triggered the entrepreneur in him, and why did he purchase the first chicken, he said that it all started when children in the home would receive visitors in their guardian parents. However, his guardian parents would not visit as often. At one time he noted that other children would receive visitors who would bring them bread and soda. He thought to himself that he’d like to be able to buy himself a soda and be able to eat with the other children.