Michael Carson, CREATE!’s Executive Director recently visited our projects in Senegal. In this blog, Michael reflects on CREATE!’s new initiative to train youth on agricultural practices.

On a rare rainy Monday afternoon in rural Senegal, I accompanied our country director Omar Ndiaye Seck, field coordinator Amadou Diouf, and agricultural technician Codou Gadji to Walo Village outside Kaolack to view our newest initiative. Last month, CREATE! entered into an agreement with Senegal’s Ministry of Labor to train 200 youth in agriculture practices. The objective of this project is to provide youth in Guinguineo, Gossas and Linguere Departments of Senegal, where CREATE’s activities are located with an opportunity to learn agriculture production skills. The youth will then apply these skills in their family farms, thereby remaining in their villages and not migrating to Senegal’s crowded cities like Dakar or Kaolack, which have massive unemployment and little economic opportunity for youth that lack technical skills.

Our agricultural technician Codou Gadji, who organized and trained the recently graduated Walo Women’s Group from CREATE!s sustainable development program, is excited about this initiative, which will train youth on all aspects of vegetable production from preparing seed nurseries, toiling soil, applying composts, weeding and watering and harvesting vegetables and tree saplings. Cheikh Diouf, a trainee in our inaugural youth initiative, is very excited about collaborating with Walo Women’s Group and CREATE! Cheikh told us that he is enjoying his training in Walo and plans to return to his nearby village to begin an agriculture project.

This initiative is currently training 14 youth in Walo Village. We plan to assess the impact of training youth with the Ministry of Labor, who identifies the youth, and then expand this project to all CREATE! villages. We are excited about playing a small role in facilitating the transfer of vital agriculture skills to youth in Senegal.

Interested in helping us expand the youth agricultural project to more villages in rural Senegal? Consider donating today!