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Girls + Agriculture Skills = Economic Freedom

We teach girls the 'how' of leveraging agriculture & life-skills to create value-added agriculture products & to become rural entrepreneurs.

Photo of Lizzie Lahey

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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Our idea is designed to help girls stay in school, build their capacities, & broaden their frame-of-reference surrounding agri-business & agricultural value chains, so that they can step-up to jobs & become selfless change makers & role models for girls & their communities. We partner with at-risk adolescent girls to give them responsibility & accountability for transformational change they will drive in their communities. The Global Give Back Circle (GGBC) and World Vision Kenya (WVK) understand the importance of ‘partnering’ with at-risk & vulnerable girls as they embark on a journey to become capable, empowered & selfless women. GGBC and WVK believe that 'Girls + Agriculture Skills = Economic Freedom' will significantly impact whole communities in West Pokot, Kenya, where girls are subjected to forced early marriage & female genital mutilation as a way to prove their worth in society. In addition to gaining marketable agriculture skills & acumen, each girl will be able to complete secondary school education, attain critical life-skills, partake in leadership development & get a mentor. Her mentor coaches her to stay in school, study hard, stay healthy & stay focused. Her agriculture curriculum will consist of workshops on entrepreneurship, agricultural productiveness, value-chain economics & digital marketing, to equip her with the knowledge & skills she needs to become an economically empowered, food security savvy, & nutritionally educated rural entrepreneur.

WHO BENEFITS?

500 at-risk adolescent girls who have been marginalized by FGM & forced early marriage will benefit from the program. These are girls who are ready for economic opportunity & to contribute to the wider good & care of others in their community. Their family & communities will directly benefit as the girls gain economic freedom and carry them with them too. Mentors will also benefit from the program, because mentoring is a two-way street. 500 mentors will learn and grow from their mentee.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU

We are a US-based nonprofit that integrates Mentoring, Private Sector Engagement & Government and Local Community Support in a 'Circle of Empowerment' that guides an at-risk girl to complete her educational journey, gain employable skills, transition into the workplace and become an agent of change.

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

  • Kenya

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year

HOW HAS YOUR IDEA CHANGED BECAUSE OF BENEFICIARY FEEDBACK?

Feedback from beneficiaries has surfaced the importance of arming them not only with technical skills, business acumen & agricultural know-how, but also with access to the kinds of networks, resources & support that will connect them to the supply chain & help ensure their commercial success as rural entrepreneurs. Workforce readiness workshops are not new to the program, but based on feedback, workshops must also take into consideration: access to resources for equipment/processing facilities, business & brand development, evaluation of market demand, marketing strategies (both local & internationally), resources for land, seeds & greenhouses, costing, bargaining power, tender negotiations, service provisions & technology advancement. We are now in partnership discussions with FAO, the Ministry of Agriculture & 2 other private sector organizations for the provision of financial services (loans), access to technical experts & channels for delivery of product. Based on feedback, beneficiaries may need to pool resources for economies-of-scale. We will also implement a 'Circle Think Tank,' made up of beneficiaries. Their feedback will inform & guide the program as it moves forward.

HOW IS YOUR IDEA UNIQUE?

Our project is unique in the way it connects at-risk girls to gateway to economic freedom in a holistic way. 9 months of experimentation in West Pokot has allowed us to evolve our idea with an aim to demystify agriculture & make it 'cool' for girls through the integration of 1) A fun and engaging Agriculture & Rural Entrepreneurship Curriculum/Practicum 2) One-to-one Mentorship and 3) A Give Back Model. We have found that all of these interventions are critical in a girl’s transformation because of the way they entwine empowerment & benevolence. Workshops & curriculum are designed to expand a girl’s frame of reference about what she ‘can’ do to generate income & participate in the economy, specifically through agriculture, food security, food processing & nutrition. Together, they ensure a girl is equipped with the knowledge & skills that will help her transition into economic freedom. Our private sector partners also make our idea unique. They are committed to connecting the dots between girls in rural areas, agriculture & financial freedom, & to providing the support & resources a girl needs as she makes her transition into meaningful employment & entrepreneurial opportunities.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT THE PROBLEM YOUR IDEA SOLVES FOR HAS NOT BEEN SOLVED?

Youth are experiencing unprecedented rates of unemployment & a worrying lack of opportunities to contribute productively to society. At the same time, high population growth puts pressure on available resources, while graduates of the education system are neither properly equipped for entry into the labor market, nor possess the necessary life-skills to find formal or stable informal employment. Most youth are unaware of the opportunities that exist along the agricultural value chain. Additionally, they lack access to skills training, information, resources & the financial services needed to gain meaningful employment.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS IDEA?

What products are most marketable & how do their supply chains operate most efficiently? Additionally, we are working with our partners to determine whether purchasing equipment or using a local processing/refinery plant is a more cost effective solution. We are also working with them to understand how the logistics should be structured to bring products to market at a profit. And lastly, we are in discussion with our partners to understand their vision for success & what they will bring to the table to ensure the girls have access to the services and resources they need to achieve economic freedom.

IS THIS IDEA NEW FOR YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION?

GGBC has 4 years of proven success working with at-risk adolescent girls (300+) in West Pokot, Kenya – girls marginalized by female genital mutilation. The idea is 9 months old and was inspired by women from USDA at a brainstorming meeting with GGBC whereby the goal was to creatively expand the range of workforce-readiness and livelihood solutions for these girls. The result was that agriculture was integrated into the girls' curriculum to give them an edge at gaining employment in the new economy and an understanding of how to leverage value-added agriculture products to develop as rural entrepreneurs. Next year, the 'Circle' would like to scale-up the Agriculture Component & to integrate proven models from other notable and appropriate interventions & technologies that are targeting at-risk girls for livelihood development with a special focus on agri-business and agricultural value chains. Based on user feedback, we will also implement a 'Circle Think Tank,' made up of beneficiaries. Their feedback will inform & guide the program as it evolves and moves forward.

WHO WILL IMPLEMENT THIS IDEA?

Global Give Back Circle (US and Kenya team), in partnership with World Vision Kenya, will implement this project. Other partners include: MasterCard Innovation Labs, Microsoft, ACWICT, Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, FAO, Kenya Ministry of Agriculture and DuPont/Pioneer. This consortium of partners brings everything from logistical support to technical support & network connections for profitable distribution channels. The Ministry of Agriculture & Education are currently providing curriculum.

The Global Give Back Circle (GGBC) is a proven gender-based education and empowerment ‘Process’ which addresses the plight of extremely at-risk adolescent girls negatively affected by poverty and harmful socio-cultural practices preventing them from attending and completing school and effectively participating in the economy and citizenship. The ‘process’ integrates secondary and tertiary education with 21st Century skills, life skills, mentorship, private sector engagement, giving back to the community and access to networks that enable girls to break the cycle of poverty without falling through the cracks.

GGBC has been operating in Kenya for almost 10 years, with USAID as a partner since 2011. Over the past few years, it has expanded to China, India, Rwanda and South Africa. There are 1,000+ beneficiaries in Kenya, of which 242 are girls rescued from FGM/forced early marriage. In Kenya, over 200 girls have graduated college/university – becoming teachers, nurses, doctors, etc., and landing jobs at KPMG, Deloitte, Standard Chartered, etc. Today, GGBC is the largest gender-based tertiary education, mentorship and employment-readiness program for at-risk girls in Kenya with 20+ private sector organizations partnering. Institutional knowledge and capacity is also built within beneficiaries. Beneficiaries, now benefactors, are running the program in Kenya, South Africa, India and Rwanda, and are building capacity with GGBC’s implementation partners on the ground in all countries. 

Global Give Back Circle - Girls of Vision, a partnership between World Vision Kenya and the Global Give Back Circle, launched in 2012 and has four years of proven success working with 242 at-risk girls in West Pokot, whereby after secondary school graduation, they are enrolled in a 6-month 21st century skills program as a gateway to securing employment/livelihood or scholarships to further tertiary educational opportunities.

WVK and GGBC are innovating and growing the range of workforce-ready and livelihood solutions for at-risk girls living in West Pokot. In partnership with Microsoft, the Department of Agriculture, the African Centre for Women and ICT, and the community of West Pokot, we are assisting 242 girls to access a quality secondary and college education, hone life skills that will protect them from falling through the cracks and successfully transition into employment.

The program matches each girl with a mentor, a caring woman (from Kenya or abroad), who maintains an open channel of communication throughout a structured one-to-one mentorship journey. In addition to financial support, the program also provides coaching and training in life-skills courses. These are courses in agriculture, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, reproductive health and information communication technology that give the girls a competitive edge in gaining employment in the new economy.

Based on findings and baseline surveys, agriculture curriculum was integrated into the program over the past year. Training curriculum on Agriculture and Rural Enrepreneurship was developed in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Education in West Pokot County. Thye too have provided trainers who do train farmers and have first hand information on extension of services.

GGBC and WVK would like to scale-up the Agriculture program in vulnerable counties in Kenya in partnership with critical stakeholders such as the Ministry of Agriculture, FAO, the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, the MasterCard Innovation Lab, Microsoft and other like-minded partners. We are aiming to integrate proven models with other notable and appropriate interventions and technologies that are targeting the youth for livelihood development with a special focus on agri-business and agriculture value chains. This alliance, and these partners, aim to address the plight of at least 500 at-risk adolescent girls who are negatively affected by poverty and harmful socio-cultural practices that prevent them from attending and completing school and effectively participating in the economy and as global citizens.

SHARE ONE SENTENCE ABOUT THE IMPACT YOU WOULD LIKE THIS PROJECT TO HAVE FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, AND ONE QUESTION YOU NEED TO ANSWER TO GET THERE.

500 at-risk girls gain the skills needed to experience employment & economic freedom through agriculture/agri-business, to provide food security for their families and communities and to ensure that nutrition becomes a part of day-to-day living. Learning Question: What are the perceptions, myths and cultural barriers that impact the way girls consider and embrace work in the field of agriculture.

MY ORGANIZATION'S OPERATING BUDGET FOR 2015 WAS:

  • Between $500,000 and $1,000,000

MY INTENDED BENEFICIARIES ARE:

  • Within 50 km of where our team does most of its work
  • Within 100 km of where our team does most of its work

HOW LONG HAVE YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES BEEN WORKING ON THIS PILOT PROJECT TOGETHER?

  • Between 6 months and a year

WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN JOINING AMPLIFY'S PORTFOLIO OF INNOVATORS?

We are interested in joining Amplify's portfolio because of the real impact that can be found at the nexus of marginalized girls in rural areas and agriculture skills as a pathway to economic freedom. Joining Amplify's portfolio will enable us to connect with likeminded people and organizations and to share the learnings with the rest of the world so that girls and women all over the globe are able to reap the benefits.

Attachments (1)

USER_EXPERIENCE_MAP2.pdf

User Experience Map

18 comments

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Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hello Lizzie Lahey and Girls + Agriculture Skills = Economic Freedom,
Do you think grain moisture testing to stop Postharvest loss like aflatoxin would be a skill youth could use to meet employers and learn the Agricultural market place?

See <https://challenges.openideo.com/goto/challenge/youth-empowerment-challenge/jobs-for-youth-to-reverse-cereal-grain-postharvest-loss>

William
Jobs for Youth to Reverse Postharvest loss

Photo of Lizzie Lahey
Team

Hi William,

I personally am not familiar with grain moisture testing, but the agriculture sector has the potential to create jobs along the entire value chain. I presume grain moisture testing, as well as opportunities in harvesting, processing, packaging, marketing etc., will all be a skill-set youth can utilize to meet potential employers and learn about the agricultural sector.

Kind regards,

Lizzie

Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hi Lizzie,
Yes harvesting, processing, packaging marketing etc are all agriculture. However, handheld calibrated moisture testing is an high return to investment or easy leverage against Postharvest loss like aflatoxin.
Are you aware of aflatoxn caused stunting problem? When grains contain aflatoxin stunting can occur and the net benefit of other interventions to "economically empower, create food security savvy, & nutritionally educated rural entrepreneurs" may lack meaning in the long run. High calorie grain, feeds most of the human labor and animal power needed to produce densely nutritious vegetable, fruits and meat.
Cardwell who spent time in Kenya says it best  in “Aflatoxin Identifying the Way Forward” Retrieved:
<www.fsnnetwork.org/sites/default/files/Kitty%20Cardwell%20Presentation.pdf>.
We are interested to read the height of the rural girls entering the "frame-of-reference" surrounding the agri-business and agriculture skills = economic freedom program.
If you determine stunting may be impacting the net benefit of value added agriculture products we should exchange user experience maps and show the experts how our innovative team would help youth implement business with net benefits for rural communities and National food security.
Regards,  
William
Jobs for Youth to Reverse Postharvest loss

Photo of Lizzie Lahey
Team

Hi William,

Yes, we think grain moisture testing is a skill youth could learn. It would be very helpful as it would improve the knowledge base in the community, and at the same time, the youth and the community would embrace the skill in improving the quality of grains. Most of the time, our main grain handling body employs the skill when buying grains from farmers.

Lizzie

Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hello Lizzie,
Thank you for the continued interest. Should we exchange email <neveridlestorage(at)gmail.com>,
user experience maps and then collaborate to show the experts how our innovative team would help youth implement business with net benefits for rural communities and National food security?
The moisture testing project believes aflatoxin indicates a very weak link in the African grain value chain. 
Once grain is well dried, good storage is next step to grower benefits. Please consider the mobile utility grain storage network at LinkedIn <https://gh.linkedin.com/in/williamthomaslanier>

Regards,
William
Jobs for Youth to Reverse Postharvest loss

Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hello Lizzie Lahey and Girls + Agriculture Skills = Economic Freedom,
William (NeverIdle) hopes you are doing well and wish to invite you and peers to the
"1st All African Postharvest Congress and Exhibition (March 28 - 31) Nairobi" <http://africa-postharvestconference.uonbi.ac.ke/>.
We hope to meet you there and discuss more about Moisture meters and testing to Reverse Grain Postharvest Loss."
William

Photo of Lizzie Lahey
Team

Hi William,

Thank you for the invite. I will pass the invitation and this link along to our team on the ground in Kenya. I know they would be interested in attending. In the meantime, are you able to confirm whether there is a cost to attend the event?

Thanks,

Lizzie

Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hi Lindsay,
I am sure there is a cost. Likely a daily fee and whole conference fee, but the team should visit the web site to be sure.
<http://africa-postharvestconference.uonbi.ac.ke/> I am sure they are willing to negotiate wand maybe AAPHCE exchange admission for volunteers from suitable groups?
William

Photo of Lizzie Lahey
Team

Thank you! We will reach out to them and find out.

Photo of Lizzie Lahey
Team

Thank you! We will reach out to them and find out.

Photo of William Lanier
Team

Ok Lizzie and team,
LinkIn to stay updated
<www.linkedin.com/in/williamthomaslanier>
Hope to meet them at AAPHCE,
Regards,
William

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