Project Launch: 9-28-17
Mandala Village has a large population of women and youth who are unemployed and disconnected from opportunity. Many face exploitation as a result of the lack of engagement. Education activities that empower community members are uncommon and few programs exist in the area to respond to their needs. As such, most community members do not have the capacity or knowledge to mobilize their skills and talents to earn income or develop the necessary connections to capitalize upon their abilities. Climate change and significant precipitation anomalies have increasingly threatened traditional agricultural livelihoods.
This project will establish a business and environmental program to engage the community in two areas, climate change and environmental management, and social entrepreneurship. Women and youth mentors will be trained to mentor others in entrepreneurship, small business development, environmental conservation, and tree reforestation. The project will also train women and youth in mushroom production as well as in the repurposement of agricultural refusto develop steady streams of income.
Project Update: 4-9-18
The project team managed to conduct three awareness meetings with youth from the eight wards within which Likhubula Youth Organization (LIYO) operates. In November, the project went further to train a total of 35 youths. The training focused mainly on three issues: Climate change and climate change mitigation, leadership skills, and business and entrepreneurship in the environmental sector. The project has also established 8 village savings and loans associations (VSLAs) which are fully functional. Each of these has a membership of at least 15 women and a maximum of 25 women for administrative reasons. 1300 tree seedlings were planted on Nkholonje Hill with a survival rate of 83%.
The project has to date trained 35 youths and 40 women in social entrepreneurship within the environmental realm. Participants have also been trained in different aspects of business including planning, idea generation, and financial management. There is a growing interest to pursue various business ideas created by the women and the youth.