John Julias is one of my favourite people to meet on this trip … incredibly welcoming and incredibly enthusiastic about PEP – having attended the first training session feeling that they were poor people, and that was how they were destined to remain – there was nothing they could do to break the cycle. PEP made him realise that he was already living in a fertile land, and that more could be done with agriculture and animals.
With the money he has managed to save – and he lives in a typical mud hut – he has managed to get one son through University, and another is almost finished. It was quite interesting to see him laughing at the web address on our truck, and say that no, he’s never used the internet, but his sons will show him once they have good jobs (although he’s then worried about unemployment). John Julias does have pretty good English!
John Julias has a crop of groundnuts that he’s waiting to sell (for good prices) to pay the rest of the University fees (around 1.5million UGS – which is nearly £400 – huge for these guys). He hopes that what they have started with PEP will continue and they will continue to get a good income. He and his wife have done slightly different things with PEP – she saved for goats and then a cow – which has now calved/gives them milk. They have also been breeding sheep – as for every 10 sheep, he can get a cow. We then went to have a look at his farm – great to see how proud he is of his achievement.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.