Life Lessons of an Immigrant

Sustainable Community-Owned Enterprises

by John Makilya



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 12/28/2017

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 328
ISBN : 9781480853706
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 328
ISBN : 9781480853690
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 328
ISBN : 9781480853713

About the Book

John Makilya reveals an in-depth look of Kenya, its people, and its traditions in this memoir about growing up there and starting a family before immigrating to the United States of America.

He traces his roots, including how his father became a pioneer educator and was selected to lead a Kenyan delegation on a pilgrimage to Rome during the 1950 Catholic Jubilee. Upon his return to Kenya, he acquired land for the establishment of a Catholic church and later ventured into parliamentary politics.

Makilya also recalls his own career in various sectors, including savings and credit cooperatives, ranching and the beef industry, sustainable community-owned water projects, horticultural production and marketing, community-owned fishing enterprises, and wildlife conservation.

In doing so, he shares an intimate account of his work as a consultant making socioeconomic assessments of the World Bank–funded El Niño Emergency Project, his role in the enterprise development component of a USAID COBRA project, and his work as chairman of the board of governors of the Misyani Girls School—where he insisted girls were as talented in math and science as boys.

Join the author on an inspiring journey from Kenya to the United States in Life Lessons of an Immigrant.

About the Author

John Makilya was born in Kenya on June 12, 1952, of highly talented parents. His courageous and outgoing father rejected the comfort of traditional lifestyles to venture into an unknown school life under very strict disciplinarians. He excelled in his education to become a pioneer in educating his Kamba community. John’s dad was such a charismatic leader that he was selected to lead a local team on a pilgrimage to Rome to meet the pope during the 1950 Catholic Jubilee. He brokered the establishment of a Catholic church in the neighborhood of the very antagonistic Protestant Africa Inland Mission. John’s father ventured into parliamentary politics in 1957, but he lost to a candidate aligned to the Protestant Church. He was appointed to the District Education Board by the president of the Native Council and spearheaded the expansion of education in his community irrespective of religious affiliation (Catholic or Protestant). His outstanding work in education of people of different faiths stands out as a beacon of light and success to be emulated as humanity seeks to resolve the major conflicts of the two major religions (Christianity and Islam) in the world.

After his college education, John Makilya had a successful career in Kenya. The bulk of the his career showcases the idea that designing and installing management, accounting, record-keeping, and financial control system in community-owned enterprises/institutions is the first major ingredient of a profitable and successful project. Secondly, an equitable distribution system of the benefits accruing from the enterprises/institutions to beneficiary communities is necessary to ensure sustainability of community enterprises/institutions. Finally, a well-defined governance system of the community-owned enterprises/institutions is the third ingredient to a successful and sustainable enterprise/institution.

Additionally, the author served as chairman of the board of governors of Misyani Girls School from 1989 to 2005. In this position, he launched a crusade that the world discard the myth that the girl-child is less endowed in mathematics and science than her counterpart boy-child. The girl-child should be empowered through quality education, lest society miss out on talent.

The author relocated with his family to the USA in 2005 in fulfillment of a belief formed during his childhood, namely that “John, Joseph will go far away.”