Update Youth Test Farm Kenya

Graduation day of the 1st cohort

This July, the first cohort of youth graduated from the Kiahuko youth test farm in Kenya! The past half year they followed several theoretical and practical trainings on the farm on different topics related to climate-smart farming and visited several example farms. Both the youth and the project team really looked forward to this special day and put a lot of effort in preparations; making sure the farm looks at its best, sending out invitations and promoting the day, preparing a small performance from the youth, hiring and setting up a tent and music installation, preparing food for all the attendees and preparing all the exhibition stations at the farm (designing and painting signs for each station with relevant information).

During the graduation day, different stakeholders from the area came to the farm to see the farm and celebrate the graduation of the youth. Among the stakeholders were people from different water projects in the area, the NAROWASCO (Naro Moru water and sanitation company), the Emu-sacco (local loaning organization), different water users associations, Tigithi Rabbit’s group (rabbit farm), churches, county government, seed companies, solar pumping company and mostly farmers from the community. It was a very special and inspiring day with more than 250 visitors! The day started with an opening introducing the project and its objectives. After that the attendees were divided into groups and each group passed by the different exhibition stations where the youth showcased what they have learned on the farm (use of shallow well, use of the drip irrigation system for tomato growing, harvesting of water, use of solar pump, use of the shadenet for seedling propagation, etc.)

All stakeholders were very keen to learn from the youth and see what has happened on the farm. Many mentioned it was very inspiring and that it gave them ideas for their own farms or organization. After the exhibition tour, there were some speeches from important stakeholders in the area. The community and stakeholders showed their support and hope in the project. Then it was time for the graduation ceremony. Each youth was given a certificate by the team and pictures were taken with their families. After that we had a small performance and dance by the youth. The day ended with a traditional lunch that was enjoyed by all the attendees.

It is great to see the first cohort has graduated and the project is supported a lot by the community. The youth graduated as trainers of trainers and we hope they will teach and inspire many other youth the coming years. We are looking forward training the next cohort and expanding the livelihood activities on the farm.

Video of the graduation day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQQBw0UZZiU