Our youths have dreams. They are motivated and dedicated. Recognizing the need for change and seeing how their community has been directly affected by unsustainable and harmful agricultural practices and the effects of climate change, they aim to develop sustainable and regenerative agricultural systems. Permaculture has pointed out a way to make their dreams come true.

The “Under The Tree” farm

“We want to make farming sexy again for the younger generations. We started by designing the piece of land that was given to us by Make Me Smile, following the permaculture principles. The young change makers identify strongly with the idea of working closely with the earth.”

The Under The Tree Farm at the Mayenya Community Center is growing into a Permaculture demonstration site. Keen observation of the land is one of the main permaculture principles to find the best solutions to create sustainable and regenerative systems.

Dreaming, planning, action, celebration

“It is as if the land itself was speaking to us. It has been asking for shading trees, ground cover, and nutrient supply for the soil.”

Out of sharing dreams for the earth and humanity, a design grew that includes kitchen gardens, a food forest, a proper compost system, a seed nursery, crop rotation in small parcels and a watering system. Implementing all those structures and systems will take time and resources, but the first steps have been implemented. Seeing how Permaculture brings solutions to improve the function, resilience and productivity of agricultural systems in the long term, the youths have gained even more motivation to work for the land and the community.


Permaculture (Permanent Agriculture) goes beyond conventional agriculture and can be applied to different aspects of life. It brings solutions not only to designing a piece of land, but also to designing our personal lives.

For a future under trees

Trees are vital, they do not only provide shade, but also give us oxygen, store carbon, prevent soil erosion and provide food and shelter for humans and animals. In Kisumu county, as in many other parts of the world, the effects of climate change can be observed. Extreme droughts in the dry season and flooding in the rainy season become even more severe through deforestation and harmful agricultural practices, as monocultures of cash crop plantations and the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

3500 trees planted so far

The Under The Tree Youth Group has already planted 1.500 trees in the project region. Mid July the young change makers got the chance to go on a learning visit to the Kakamega Rainforest National Park and participated in the planting of 2.000 native trees funded by Make Me Smile Kenya.

“The visit to the rainforest has reminded us of the importance of trees. We felt honored to be able to support such a beautiful afforestation project and learn from their practices. Putting our hands into the earth felt very rewarding and we left inspired and motivated to plant many more trees in our project region.”


The Kakamega Rainforest is only 10% of what it used to be. Through your donations and the help of these motivated young people, Make Me Smile will hopefully be able to support the planting of many more trees and the growth of their Permaculture farm.

Quotes from Don Ochieng Permaculture project coordinator and representative of the Under the Tree Youth Group.