Meet Elizabeth, a Leader at the Natoot Farm in Arid Kenya

In the dry landscape of Turkana, Kenya, families have historically fed themselves and earned a living by raising livestock. However, the endless cycles of severe droughts have made it nearly impossible to feed and water their herds. How are families surviving this drought in Kenya?

Miraculously, on this arid land populated by impoverished families, Bright Hope and our partner church in Lodwar planted a self-sufficient farm—truly an oasis in the desert. Leaders like Elizabeth have wholeheartedly embraced farming to feed their families and can walk with confidence into the future. 

Over the last five years, Elizabeth, a widow and mother of nine children, has emerged as a leading farmer at the Natoot Farm. Reflecting on her life before the Natoot Farm, Elizabeth shared: “We could not achieve three meals a day through herding goats alone.”

Elizabeth’s Life Before Farming 

As the morning sun rises in the East, it gives light to the pastoralists weaving among the herd of camels. From one of the homes, you can hear coughing. It is one of Elizabeth’s daughters. Elizabeth wonders if today she can find charcoal in the forest and sell it at the market so she can help her sick children. The drought in Kenya has affected the health of her family.  

Elizabeth begins to get ready and rubs medicine on her neck, to help with the irritation from the layers of beads. Elizabeth’s white necklaces stand out from the sea of color, signifying the passing of her husband. From birth, Turkana girls receive bright beads from their fathers until they get married. Then, after marriage, they wear necklaces given to them by their husbands. If they become a widow, they replace the colored string of beads with white ones.  

Today the journey back from the market filled her with familiar sadness she had been unable to sell anything. The passing of her husband left a burden on Elizabeth as she struggled to provide for her family. A seeping dread filled Elizabeth’s mind as she walked home empty-handed to her sick and hungry children. 

Finding Hope in Turkana, Kenya 

Elizabeth’s life was difficult as she lived in one of the most inhospitable places on earth: an arid desert stretching across northern Kenya and Southern Sudan. However, a newfound hope dawned a light in her life as she began working on a plot of land at Natoot Farm.  

Shortly after Elizabeth began farming, she could grow enough food to feed her family. As she became more involved at the farm, the number of plots she worked on increased, giving her enough produce to pay for her children’s school fees.   

Then, as her farming business grew, she started to invite other neighbors and families in need to work with her at Natoot. Elizabeth shared, “When I had the opportunity to help, I started sharing my piece of land because they had families to support. I knew what it was like to be in need. But God always came through in my challenges, and I wanted to share this blessing with others.”   

Elizabeth’s efforts to invite others to improve their lives by working on the farm shows her generous attitude. Truly, Elizabeth strives to encourage family and friends to engage with God and receive His blessings. This attitude reflects our desire for all our Hope for Eternity programs.   

Today, Elizabeth is one of the lead farmers at Natoot Farm in Turkana, Kenya. Each morning as she walks to the farm, colorful beads adorning her neck, Elizabeth thanks God for His provision, actively looking for others to tell. 

How You Can Help Fight the Drought in Kenya

Recently, the Natoot Farm was gifted 13 additional acres! This new land is ready and waiting to be developed into irrigated, fruitful farmland. So now, with your alliance, we can irrigate this new land, doubling the size of the farm and the number of farmers it employs. 

The Natoot Farm has become a river of living water to 135 families in this desolate region. Now it’s time to open the floodgates so that 150 more families can each receive a plot of land and change the trajectories of their lives.

Malia Rodriguez
Malia Rodriguez

Malia loves serving as a Copywriter for Bright Hope, where she has the privilege to share how God is working among the vulnerable and caring for the extreme poor around the world. As a homeschool mom, Malia strives to develop in her kids compassionate, generous, and caring hearts. Malia and her husband, Matt, live in the Washington, DC area with their son and daughter.