Member Spotlight: Micah Opondo

Micah Opondo is a Community Coordinator with the Oyugis Pachamama Alliance Community in Kenya. You can learn more about Micah on his profile page and in this news story on pachamama.org.


Micah OpondoWhere do you currently live?

I currently live in Oyugis, Homabay county of Kenya.

What I love about Oyugis is the climatic condition of the area, which is mostly cool and rainy and supports a lot of subsistence farming. For a long time there has been adequate food for families in the area, but this is slowly changing as the soils are over-farmed and rains slowly become unreliable and inadequate.

What are some ways you like to spend your time?

I spend my time crop farming. I have about half an acre of land that I use to plant mostly maize for my family consumption. I also do tree planting. I have a tree nursery that I use to grow tree seedlings which I use to implement a tree planting program in the neighboring schools. I also give some to the neighbors and rest I plant in my farm. I regularly spend time with members of the community, mobilizing them and talking to them about the significance of tree planting and how they can benefit from tree planting.

Tree Planting

How did you first connect with Pachamama Alliance?

My first connection with Pachamama Alliance was in 2017, I was researching on the impact of tree planting to the environment and how to equip communities to best address climate change through tree planting. That’s when I came across the Game Changer Intensive offered by Pachamama Alliance.

What is a memory or experience with Pachamama Alliance that stands out for you?

The best experience I’ve had with Pachamama Alliance is the Game Changer Intensive course that had a ripple effect on me and my community. The insight that I gained from the exchanges with my group members remain valuable to me. The continuous communication with Pachamama Alliance and the support that they’ve granted to me has been of a great encouragement. I was able to organize an Awakening the Dreamer Symposium in my area in December 2017, April 2018, December 2018, April 2019, and August 2019.

I was encouraged to learn that after our second Symposium, some members were able to start their own tree nurseries and are currently reaping the benefits from selling seedlings.

Oyugis

What is something you are proud to be doing in service of an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet?

I am proud to have organized and continue to organize Awakening the Dreamer Symposiums to train my community and beyond on matters tree planting and climate change. I also provide tree seedling to the trained persons and schools to help them start on the process of tree planting.

Moreover, the Symposiums we do are designed so that the participants are empowered to use tree planting as an economically viable venture thereby breaking them off the poverty circle. This is important to me in the sense that, the men, women and youth so trained come out more independent and empowered to chart a better path financially. I hope to one day see my community and beyond living in a socially just, economically sound and spiritually fulfilling environment.

What is something that you would like to see change in the world in the next 10 years?

I wish to see a world where people are concerned and conscious of the environment, nurturing it and making sure that whatever they do are not impacting the environment negatively. I’d like to see people embracing green energy and practices.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

Pachamama Alliance has been a blessing not only to me but my community as well. We have benefited a lot from the wealth of information and encouragement from members and participants.