Community leaders from the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Chisovya in Rumphi districts affirmed their support towards youth and agriculture intervention which YONECO, with support from the Segal Family Foundation (SFF), initiated in the area.
The remarks were made when YONECO held an indaba with the chiefs after monitoring progressive youth club farms in the area. Village Head Chiskemba stated that he is very impressed with the work which the youth are doing. Other Village heads from the area also echoed how the youth have been able to utilize irrigation techniques to plant crops like maize in the dry season.
‘These young people have proved that we can achieve food security through irrigation and this is somethings we need to sustain and scale up,’ said Village Head Chiskemba.
Wongani Mfune, Project Officer for YONECO in the district, stated that young people have been using the proceeds they get from selling their produce to pay school fees, clothes, as well as meeting other educational needs. The youth club farms were established after YONECO trained the youth in Management of Village Savings and Loans Associations that were linked to agribusiness sessions.
The training was conducted with support from a Segal Family Foundation Project called Integrating Youth Friendly Health Services in YONECO Drop in Centres. The project is aimed at reducing various Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) challenges which young people face. Poverty is among the drivers of various SRHR challenges which young people face.
Thus, apart from supporting young people’s access to services in friendly environments, the project also helps young people to exploit other economic empowerment avenues. In his remarks, Group Village Head (GVH) Mgathira said; we are very thankful to YONECO and SFF – through this initiative, our children are now going back to school”.