KickStart International: Forming a Real Path out of Poverty for Africa’s Rural Poor
Nearly all of rural Sub-Saharan Africa relies on rainfall to grow crops essential for survival/income. By waiting for the rains, poor, rural farmers are forced into a cycle of poverty by only growing and harvesting from small rain fed plots & selling their crops for little profit in the wet season.
KickStart is a leading social enterprise NGO whose mission is to alleviate poverty by developing and promoting technologies that can be used by entrepreneurs, men and women, to establish and run profitable small-scale enterprises. Our best-selling products are award-winning human-powered irrigation pumps that allow small-scale farmers to access increasingly scarce water, which enables them to increase their crop yield and income by up to 10 times in one year. Since 2001, KickStart has sold over 194,000 pumps across Africa and our pumps have helped over 626,000 people escape poverty by creating profitable small-scale farming businesses.
Founders, Martin Fisher and Nick Moon saw that traditional development was not working. Billions of dollars were invested in projects that did not prove sustainable and solutions were often temporary. They created KickStart on the belief that a poor person is not a victim in need of rescue, but rather a capable and hard working individual in need of an opportunity.
To highlight this founding principal, here is a story from Tanzania of a female farmer, entrepreneur, and married mother of five, named Rosemary Makundi. Rosemary is currently in her mid-40s, and was an entrepreneur before she became a farmer. When her husband was injured at work, the family fell into debt due to hospital bills, and was unable to find a way out. When she heard about KickStart’s MoneyMaker pump from her son, she saved her money, purchased a pump, and with the help of her children and a small plot of land, she planted and grew vegetables such as amaranth, spinach, and tomatoes, then sold them year-round at the market. Rosemary explains, “Now I can irrigate all my plots easily with the help of the MoneyMaker pump and [I am] assured great results [for my] vegetables…My children are assured of getting an education as I am capable of paying their school fees. My husband is doing well and I am planning to raise capital for a new business.” The stable income from her farming business helped put the family back on its feet and allows Rosemary to not only meet her family‘s basic needs, but to invest in and plan for their futures.
Stories like Rosemary’s are too numerous to count, where KickStart has seen that with irrigation poor, rural, farmers no longer have to depend on the rains to water their crops and their increased yields and resulting incomes can have a profound effect on their lives. They lift themselves out of poverty and improve their quality of life by being able to ensure: food security, nutritional diversity, access to clean water, education for their children, and healthcare for their families.
More About This Charity
Hunger and Poverty Relief
KickStart International’s mission is to get millions of people out of poverty quickly, cost effectively and sustainably.
- This Achievement raised $44,400,000
- This charity raised $7,230,000 in the past year
- This Achievement helped 626,000 people
- This charity helped 112,000 in the past year
- 194,000 MoneyMaker Pumps sold; 626,000 People Out of Poverty; 197,000 Children in School; 125,000 New Businesses Created
Kenya, Tanzania, Mali, and Burkina Faso