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.