Thirty volunteer leaders from Tanzania and from abroad have begun a two-week training programme and will soon travel to villages in the regions of Morogoro, Dodoma and Iringa, where they will guide teams of young volunteers from Tanzania and from across the world to deliver Raleigh’s projects. These projects will focus on three areas:
- protecting the environment through sustainable natural resource management
- promoting safe sanitation and hygiene behaviours alongside the construction of sanitation and hygiene facilities in village primary schools
- building the resilience of communities and rural youth through entrepreneurship training, as well as support to start and grow small and medium businesses
Raleigh Tanzania’s Livelihoods project will be working with a new partner from September. Agronomos Sin Fronteras (ASF) provides training to rural communities on agricultural production and livestock keeping, through lessons given in classrooms and on demonstration farms.
Raleigh Tanzania volunteers will deliver entrepreneurship training and build the resilience of aspiring rural youth through classroom-based lessons, community mobilisation events and peer-to-peer learning sessions. At the same time, ASF will deliver training in modern farming techniques aimed at boosting agrobusiness outputs and reducing the environmental impact of agriculture. Together, we will build local support for youth in business and in agriculture in Mufindi district and provide young people with secure livelihoods.
Encouraging young people into the agricultural sector is of vital importance in Tanzania, where just over athird of the population is aged 18-35, and an increasing number of youths are moving from rural areas to cities in attempts to find employment. With the country’s economy relying heavily on agriculture, it’s vital to create fulfilling and profitable careers for young people and incentivise them to pursue jobs and start businesses in this field.
‘For a couple of years young people haven’t been viewing agriculture as a career option,’ said Abdallah Selega, Deputy Operations Manager for Raleigh’s Livelihoods programme. ‘The mentality young people have is that agriculture is a risky business, and you can’t get enough money from it. But training people helps them to get more income from agriculture, which will motivate them to start investing in it.’
Selega continued: ‘ASF provides technical skills, and Raleigh is providing entrepreneurship training, which allows these skills to be translated into business. Some of the entrepreneurs Raleigh has been supporting through other programmes have agricultural businesses, so this partnership is going to be really important in helping people set up farming businesses in a sustainable way.’
Since 2003, ASF has led three projects in the Iringa region of Tanzania. In one success story, a farmer was able to increase his crop yield from three bags per acre (300kg) to 25 bags (2,500kg) after receiving training from the organisation.
‘80% of Tanzanians depend on farming activities, and most of these farmers live in rural areas, where there is no access,’ said John Mussa, ASF Tanzania Project Manager. ‘We empower the local ways of farming – we are not here to bring any new techniques or information or methods from outside; we use the local ways and improve the ways of farming to help them to work in sustainable farming and livestock activities.’
Mussa continued: ‘After graduation they mobilise other community members and use the information they have learnt to teach other people in the village.’
Words by: Jessica Rowbury
Photographs by: Thalia Aboutaleb