Defying all odds in pursuit of youth empowerment
DateAugust 10, 2022
During our recent visit to Adjumani district of Northern Uganda, we met Janet Mura, a member of Atura Youth Group, who narrated to us her first-time experience harvesting honey. “It was my first time, and I was the only woman who participated in the exercise with a few young men from my group. I didn’t know what to expect and I was scared but the men in my group cheered me on giving me the much-needed courage. They asked me to smell the honey to be sure that it was ready for harvesting. However, while checking I got stung by bees on my mouth, and I began to run away from the hives. The men held my hand and encouraged me to complete the mission but with caution” She narrates. People in the village including her children laughed at her because her mouth was swollen. However, it was from this experience that she grew brave and now says that she will continue to harvest honey as long as she gets the proper protective gear.
Imagine if Jane and young women in the community can get opportunities to overcome barriers that limit their active and meaningful participation in matters that affect their lives. Imagine if she had the freedom to make decisions on issues that affect her life, family and community. At Vi Agroforestry, we are doing more than just imagining a different future for Janet and countless others. We’re focused on breaking down barriers faced by young women and men in their quest to provide sustainable livelihoods for themselves, families and communities to enable them to exploit their full potential. Through GLY project, 140 youth groups creation of green employment options (through apiculture, Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA), and providing solar solutions) and strengthened youth governance, advocacy and decision-making capacities at local and national levels. Jane’s group is one of the beneficiaries of the Green Livelihood Youth project (GLY) which is funded by the European Union and coordinated by Vi agroforestry. Her group members were trained on beekeeping and Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA). They were later supported with 10 beehives and VSLA kits.
As the world marks the International Youth Day under the theme; Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a world for all ages is to amplify the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the SDGs and leave no one behind, We would like to appreciate and acknowledge the efforts made by young people such as Jane and many others out there who are defying all odds to overcome barriers that have limited their active and meaningful participation in matters that affects their lives. Intergenerational solidarity is needed now more than ever for change to happen and for sustainable development to be achieved. At Vi Agroforestry, we recognise the important role young people play in food security and are committed to addressing the barriers they face to support their families and communities to realise the right to nutritious food and support sustainable livelihoods.