Hillary “Kip” Langat ’13 has been awarded a Davis Peace Project Fellowship program grant of $10,000. Through his project titled “Pulling Villages out of Poverty with a Community Tractor in Kenya,” Langat will help to empower people in three Kenyan villages (Kapkishara, Kiptewit, Maaset – in Bomet County) by purchasing a community farming tractor and training them in farming techniques in an effort to break the cycle of poverty.
In his proposal Langat wrote, “Little understanding of modern farming and lack of mechanization has resulted in widespread hunger and poverty. The aim of this project is to empower families: to enable them to feed themselves; to send their children to school; to realize optimum utilization of their farms; to learn modern farming methods; to establish links between farmers and buyers of agricultural goods; and to learn prudent management of their proceeds for purposes of educating their children and breaking the cycle of hunger and poverty.”
Davis Projects for Peace, now in its fifth year, invites undergraduates at the American colleges and universities in the Davis United World College Scholars Program to design grassroots projects that they will implement during the summer of 2012. The objective is to encourage and support today's motivated youth to create and try out their own ideas for building peace.
In 2012, nearly $1.25 million will be awarded in $10,000 grants to students who submitted winning proposals. This is the fifth consecutive year that a Hamilton student or group of students has been awarded a Davis Peace Project fellowship.
Langat will work with the Kiptewit Self-help Project (KSP) to purchase a community-farming tractor and create a foundation for its management and future use. He proposes to create a tilling schedule, based on neediness of farmers, and begin tilling the soil; train families on modern farming techniques and carry out maize breed testing on 10 farms in order to find the best breed that can do well in the soil and the climate of the area.
As part of his project he’ll also link local farmers to the National Agricultural Produce Board (NAPB) to buy and sell farm products, and teach farmers
prudent ways to manage monetary benefits from farming by setting up personal bank accounts and show them the importance of saving money for their childrens’ education.
Langat was born and raised in Kenya’s Bomet District. A chemistry major at Hamilton, he is a residential advisor and tutor in Swahili. In summer 2011 he was part of a student research group that worked with Professor Timothy Chapp on Enantio-Selective Liquid-Liquid Extraction (ELLE). Langat was a finalist in Hamilton’s annual public speaking competition in 2011 and 2012.
He is the son of Samuel and Lucina Chebugen of Bomet, Kenya.