"In life's journey, carry a compass, not a roadmap."
Jennifer is a Platform Partnerships Manager at Facebook for the Middle East and Africa. Prior to Facebook, she worked on meaningful missions with organizations including the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency, UNICEF, UNDP, World Economic Forum, and PwC. She is also the founder of a London-based culinary school, Cooking With Mama, which empowers women with confidence and work-readiness skills through training and opportunities to lead corporate and community cooking classes. She holds a dual MPA from Columbia University and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
With agriculture as the most dominant economic drivers in some African countries, The Facebook Farm Extension is an online platform through Facebook which aims to build a growing movement of youth farmers online.
With agriculture as one of the most dominant economic drivers in Kenya, Joseph Macharia set up "Mkulima Young" ("Young Farmer" in Swahili) to build and nurture a growing movement of young Kenyan farmers online.
The Facebook page currently has 33,
Hi Alain! I think your friend Leon is extremely brave and I send him best wishes! Do you know if youth in Eastern DR Congo have access to mobile phones? If they cannot afford the internet, there are other ways to connect such as twitter/text messaging. If there are different community farms, as long as one person has twitter, he/she can than text the tweets to all of the others. I don't know how I can help you and your friend, but I'd be happy to!
Hi Agraj! Having also participated in a year-long social enterprise incubator before, I saw a few ventures drop out which was disappointing for the organizers and the fellow teams. But understandably, some teams may dissolve during the process for various reasons.
One of the preventative measures the incubator put in place to prevent drop-outs was to ask ventures to pay a fee to be in the program - which could either be used to help pay for costs, or could be reimbursed after a venture completes 100% of the program. Another thing they enforced was if ventures missed more than 3 sessions, they would be asked to leave the program and other ventures of the 'waiting list' were brought in.
Have you seen any preventative measures on your end?
Hi Alain! Apologies for the slow reply as I was out of town. The short-term effect of this idea would be to build a community of youth farmers online - a group they could relate to, ask questions, seek advice, be inspired by new ideas, and find new opportunities to improve their careers.
Your question about how can youth in rural areas afford the internet is a difficult question that I've wondered myself. There are a few global initiatives working on the spread of internet connectivity such as internet.org but more efforts are required. Exposure to the internet in rural areas could come from schools, community groups, sharing devices, etc.