There are moments when being the owner of a struggling African agricultural startup can get overwhelming and it is all I can do to quit and run for the hills. Then there are the moments when I feel like a King of the Hill and my chest fills with pride. The latter moment occurs right after I receive photo updates from our scrappy rural Raintree Farms processing facility. The two photos below actually made my tears well up with watery stuff.
It is rare that I toot my own horn, but these pictures gave me a sense of satisfaction that all my efforts to create industry at the last development mile were producing results. These aren’t just photos of women in a village factory, these are photos of what it looks like when you give someone their first paying job.
Employing eight people isn’t something you would find in a massive program’s highlight reel, but it is something you will find in my personal highlight reel. This is what change looks like when you invest your remittances to help your community, not just your family; this is what progress looks like at the grass roots; this is what opportunity looks like at the last mile.
I’d like to think that this is the beginning of something much, much bigger. I can only be encouraged to work even harder as a force multiplier. We have a long way to go to bring significant development to this community. These pictures, of six ladies working on packaging products for international export, are my inspiration and a reminder that every little effort matters. Changing Africa is not going to happen in one massive catalytic event, it’ll only happen through the collective efforts in our respective corners of our continent. This is my small but significant contribution to that effort.