Brussels, Belgium, October 2020
Progress since October 2019 have been overwhelmingly positive and fundamentally favourable, leading to the establishment of renewed initiatives toward the project goals of the newfound South African project named AgrAcademy.
The initiative aims at providing a nurturing-, dignified- and challenging learning environment, close to home, to study the entire value-chain in Agriculture (High Touch), combined with applicable and useful technology tools (High Tech), AgrAcademy brings purpose to the 70% of unemployed young people in rural South Africa.
Since the official launch in Brussels in 2019 supported by the South African Embassy in Belgium and the Swedish Representation to the EU, the project's established the most robust of foundations from which to launch the official Agaracdemy Vocational Training program commencing February 2021.
Also, 25% of the young people who attended the orientation Agricamp in 2019 have, since then, participated in a series of learning experiences that Learning Academy Worldwide organized and funded resulting in:
- Engaging young people in additional Career-Orientation Agri-Camps/Seminar
- Establishing Vocational Training Centre in George
- Creating networks with farmers and markets
- Managing community-based garden projects in schools and select family gardens
- Teaching communications and tech skills
- Students conducting market-research projects
- On-site visiting of different farms in different farming conditions in South Africa
- Establishing inter-contentinental Zoom/Skype training sessions
- Creating websites, and online learning management systems
- Liaising with several rural community's existing cooperatives, schools and community leaders
- Advocating for funding support
Young people have described their experiences as positive and encouraging, contributing to a renewed sense of hope for their own futures.
Including corporate collaboratives with Belgian, Dutch and German companies, technical and advisory support from the Belgian-based association in support of Controlled Environment Agriculture and reform-minded individuals, our initiative has gained the momentum necessary to propel it from concept to implementation.
Six young people have signed up for the planned 3-year diploma in Basic Farming planned for commencement in February 2021. During November, recruitment of an additional 20 young people will take place in several rural communities in the Western Cape province of South African.
Thirteen (13) schools in the Kwazulu Natal Province of South Africa will form part of the practical spaces where students will demonstrate their acquired skills and support the establishment of school gardens to meet nutritional needs and serve as an on-site laboratory for studies in Agruculture for young children.