Youth Micro-Finance Programs March 2013
With over 40% of its population under 15 years of age in rural Africa, the youth are the future. Teaching them business skills and helping them learn how to create sustainable environmental solutions are key factors in the long-term success. SYFA-USA has agreed to support several micro-economic programs to train youth in Cameroon in order to provide a training platform to achieve these objectives. There are currently four programs proposed:
- Flower Growing
- Chicken Raising
- Rabbit Raising
- Guinea Pig Raising
In each of the programs a basic training syllabus is to be created which provides the youth the information necessary to understand how to manage the project. Built into this curriculum is clear explanation of how these activities can be manage to create positive environmental results. The focus of the programs is to demonstrate how these activities can create income but also have a net positive impact on the environment.
Also the youth are taught how to manage the projects as a mico-business and they are encouraged to use the projects to create revenue to help their families offset living expenses. The courses teach them simple but necessary accounting practices and how to price their produce to assure a return on investment and how to reinvest their proceeds to grow the business. As well the youth are required at the end of the program period to provide a full financial accounting of their project.
The materials and know-how are provided to the youth through funding from SYFA-USA. The training, materials and a small start-up stipend are provided at a 3 day training course in a local village. In return the youth agree to provide composting materials from their projects to community gardens as a means of payment.
Volunteer Mentors are being sought to support and mentor each of the young entrepreneurs in the program. These mentors are encouraged to correspond with the youth to help them be successful in their programs. They are also encouraged to provide reading materials and other information that will help the youth participants expand their horizons in business and environmental activism.
Volunteer program developers are also being sought to help create the instructions for the youth in how to manage their programs. This requires a sound understanding of the different disciplines, but will also require the volunteer to study and understand the practices appropriate in Cameroon. Finally, the volunteer will need to create the material and training program written for youth who speak English as a second language and who are not educated in a western system.
Finally SYFA-USA would very much appreciate your contribution to this program. By marking your check “Youth Programs” on the memo line, you are assured your donation will be used for this specific purpose. With the cost of training materials, supply of the initial breeding stock and other materials it now is costing $12 per youth. Your donation to support one young African entrepreneur would be greatly appreciated.