Lucas Kila, Koneka


Lucas was in his 20s when he lost his eyesight after a crippling attack of malaria. He lost his steady job, his dreams hit pause as he found himself at the crossroads of life.

“My young family needed me to come back on my feet. I didn’t want to ask my family for help. I decided that I have to restart my life and my career. So, I returned to my village and my land.”

For the last 2 decades, Lucas has slowly turned a small coconut farm into a thriving source of livelihood. The visually impaired farmer is now one of the biggest suppliers of coconuts to major stores like Stop & Shop. His journey speaks of sheer hard-work and determination.

The coconut plantation, only 30 minutes from Hula, has supported the 5 children’s education. From living in a small hut to now a 3-bedroom house and a trade-store, Lucas has come a long way.

His wife, Kone, has been a constant pillar of strength as well his guide. They walk in unison on the muddy tracks to the highway – a 7-km trek – with sacks of 150 coconuts piled on their shoulders. The wife leads the way quietly, guiding her husband. They walk 3 or 4 times a day, through mud, to ensure that their supplies get to the highway for further transportation. The logistics of ensuring their produce reaches a shelf is beyond belief. Yet, when you ask them to speak of their challenges, they smile.

“My disability doesn’t stop me. Being blind doesn’t mean I sit at home and wait for handouts. My family and I have worked hard, harder than most people who have no disability and are perfectly capable of doing normal work.”

This is starkly evident as Lucas deftly climbs up a tall coconut tree, with only a rope to support him. Using his senses to guide him, the grinning farmer quickly plucks off a few kulaus for us from the tree.

Farmer Profiles

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