Instagram tag 10morans

He used to run from the law, now he runs peace programmes (and his own business)
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He used to run from the law, now he runs peace programmes (and his own business). Meet Lekopir Lksumban, Peace Ambassador from Melako Community Conservancy. Part of our #10morans series. For over 12 years, Lekopir made a living from road banditry and cattle rustling. Caught up in relentless conflict cycles and desperate to put food on the table and pay medical bills, he saw no other way to earn money, and no way out. "It was not a good life, and I was tired of always feeling like a target was on my back" he says. "I would always get messages from my friend saying the Conservancy Warden was looking for me and I hid because I thought he wanted to hand me over to the police." But Melako Conservancy Warden, Robert Dokhole, did not want to arrest Lekopir. He wanted to help him turn his life around. For two years Robert tried to convince Lekopir to meet with him, until eventually Lekopir agreed. "I was very shocked when Robert sat me down in front of the elders and local authorities and told me that they wanted to give me a chance to redeem myself” Lekopir says. “They asked me to work with them to help rehabilitate my fellow morans engaged in cattle rustling and banditry, and that if I did so, they would allow me to re-enter society." Today, Lekopir is a proud peace ambassador and business owner - instrumental to peace and rehabilitation efforts in his home area of Laisamis. He has helped foil numerous cattle rustling attempts and helped several morans get out of conflict and into enterprise. "I am able to get through to these young men because I have been exactly where they are." Lekopir says "Most of them are looking for a way out, just like I was, but have nobody to help." Above all he feels he immense gratitude to his community for a second chance at life. "I will never forget what my community did for me, and I am just grateful to be making up for the years I lost." Photo @jeffwaweru
23.01.2019 16:36:49
The road to economic empowerment... Here is Mbau Lekulamahau, kicking off our #1
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The road to economic empowerment... Here is Mbau Lekulamahau, kicking off our #10morans series - ten stories from ten young warriors in community conservancies who have moved away from conflict to start new businesses, become peace ambassadors and conservation champions. Mbau is one of the 498 morans from community conservancies currently in NRTT's Nabuulu Empowerment SACCO (Savings and Credit Cooperative), which offers basic financial literacy training to conservancy members, as well as a platform for savings and loans. "My life is much better these days” says Mbau. “Before joining the SACCO, I would make money from the sale of my livestock, but I could never account for where it went. Through Nabuulu, I learnt about saving. Now when I sell my cattle or make good income from my other business, I save it [in the cooperative]. We can save as often as we like... little by little it adds up." Over the past year, Mbau has managed to save enough to qualify for a loan to purchase an additional motorbike for his taxi business, employ a fellow moran as a bike operator, and open a small shop in Laisamis. Diversifying his sources of income has reduced his reliance on livestock and the rangelands, and help spread his risk, which he admits is not something his peers often think about. "I am proud to be an employer and to have many sources of income,” he says. "These days, as young men, we’re realising that you have to put your money in different places, so that if one fails, you always have something to rely on.” Mbau has become an ambassador for the SACCO. "Since my fellow morans have seen my success with the new boda boda, they keep asking me how they can join and I am more than happy to show them how." Photo by @jeffwaweru The SACCO is supported by @usaid and @sidasweden#microloans#buildingbusiness#laisamis
21.01.2019 09:45:08
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