This Friday, August 12, is the United Nations’ International Youth Day “bringing youth issues to the attention of the international community and celebrating the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society.”
At Bread and Water for Africa®, we commend the UN’s action and support the mission by recognizing and encouraging the efforts of youth and young adults in sub-Saharan African countries including Sierra Leone where our youth food self-sustainability program is providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to become successful farmers.
That means helping them to become more than subsistence farmers, barely eking out enough food for themselves and their family members, but actually enough to have a surplus that they can sell at local markets and transforming them into entrepreneurs with the potential to grow.
The objective of this year’s theme, “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages” is to “amplify the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve [the UN’s] Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind.
“It will also raise awareness on certain barriers to intergenerational solidarity, notably ageism, which impacts young and old persons, while having detrimental effects on society as a whole.”
Working with our partner, Rural Youth Development Organization – Sierra Leone (RYDO-SL), we are helping youth and young adults like 21-year-old Fofie Sawyer who had to leave school in 2020 to return to his rural village in the Bumpe community following the death of his father.
“He had to become independent and find ways to survive,” reported RYDO-SL program director Joseph Kobba.
In December 2021, Fofie was identified by older RYDO-SL staff members as a hardworking, but struggling young man who was in need of agricultural training and support with seeds and tools to carry out his farming work.
“Fofie said one of the most difficult things he had been facing in his farming work was his lack of tools and seeds which are expensive,” Joseph said, adding “but the empowerment (training and tools) he received from Bread and Water for Africa® helped him to acquire needed skills in farming.”
As for Fofie himself, he says the training and support he received “has made life meaningful for me and other young farmers as they can now develop their own farming and business plans.”
He also reported that his crop production has increased significantly since his training.
“Before, I used to be late in cultivating the land because of the lack of seeds and tools, but with timely seeds and tools support, I got an earlier harvest and I am doing well now.
“I gained much knowledge during the training conducted by RYDO-SL and I am grateful to Bread and Water for Africa® for the support.”
And we at Bread and Water for Africa® are grateful for our supporters who make it possible for us to fund the agricultural education program for hundreds of youth in Sierra Leone just like Fofie.