Fostering Youth Empowerment, Mental Wellness, and Climate Action: The Bungoma Briquette Making Venture

Kimama Coffee Farmers Society youth learning to make briquettes

By Job Monyoncho

Youth learning how to use the briquette machine
A young member of the youth group learns how to use the briquette machine.

In a remote corner of Bungoma County, a small but determined group of 17 young individuals affiliated with the Kimama Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative, have embarked on a journey that not only promises a sustainable source of livelihood but also positions them as climate change ambassadors. This transformative endeavour was made possible by Basic Needs Basic Rights Kenya’s commitment to fostering social enterprise initiatives that drive positive change at both local and global levels.

The group has taken a crucial step towards environmental conservation and economic empowerment by setting up a briquette making venture. Beyond merely providing them with a briquette machine, Basic Needs Basic Rights Kenya ensured that the group received comprehensive training in various aspects of the trade. From mastering production techniques to understanding sourcing and machine maintenance, the youth group has been equipped with the tools they need to thrive in their new venture.

However, their journey goes beyond just becoming entrepreneurs. Recognizing the importance of their role as advocates for change, the group underwent training on the detrimental effects of deforestation and the significant benefits of using briquettes. Armed with this knowledge, they now proudly wear the mantle of climate change ambassadors, spreading awareness about sustainable energy solutions and inspiring their community to adopt eco-friendly practices.

Biomass mixing in readiness for briquette making
Youth from Kimama Coffee Farmers Society in Bungoma County learning how to mix the ingredients needed to make briquettes.

The dedication and enthusiasm exhibited by the group during their training are nothing short of inspiring. Their commitment to mastering the art of briquette production not only speaks volumes about their determination but also highlights the potential of social enterprise ventures to bring about positive transformation in local communities.

It’s heartening to witness how the seeds of change have been sown in Bungoma. By participating in this venture, the youth group has not only secured a source of income for themselves but has also become part of a global movement to combat climate change. Basic Needs Basic Rights Kenya’s dedication to community-driven initiatives is evident in this endeavour, showcasing their commitment to creating sustainable solutions that address both local challenges and global concerns.

As the briquette venture takes shape and the group gears up for production, there is a tangible sense of hope and optimism in the air. These young individuals have not only embraced an entrepreneurial spirit but have also embraced their roles as stewards of the environment. With every briquette they produce, they are contributing to a greener future while inspiring others to follow suit.

The impact of such initiatives goes beyond the immediate community. It ripples outward, serving as a model for other regions grappling with similar challenges. Basic Needs Basic Rights – Kenya’s approach of merging mental wellbeing by economic empowerment with environmental consciousness holds promise for creating a better world – one where livelihoods are improved, mental health is promoted, forests are preserved, and climate change is combated.

In conclusion, the briquette making venture in Bungoma stands as a shining example of how social enterprise can drive positive change. The story of this youth group serves as a testament to the transformative power of knowledge, determination, and community engagement. As they step into their roles as mental health and climate change ambassadors, they are not only transforming their own lives but also leaving an indelible mark on the fight against climate change. So, keep an eye out for their products on shelves near you – purchasing them is not just a transaction, but a contribution to a more sustainable future.

Better Mental Health, Better Lives!

Ready briquettes after test production by Bungoma youth
Briquettes made after the training by the youth ready for drying.


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