It was a brand new saturday morning with a conducive atmosphere, pleasing environment and a perfect view to the sea. Our mindsets were ready to kick-off the day and it was amazing to observe all participants attending the second day of the RESCAR-AOC International workshop.
The workshop was axed on the notions of climate change and agripreneurship to promote Rural Advisory Services (RAS) within gender, youth and farmers' organizations. Group work was being scheduled in the daily programs with specifics that the context related to youth had to be tackled by youth. In this breadt, the youth session was moderated by Ypard-Cameroon, in collaboration with other Ypardians from the diaspora namely; Minata Coulibaly from Burkina Faso, Aimé Kazika for Democratic Republic of Congo, Emily Ongus from Kenya just to name a few).
Youth’s inclusiveness in the development process of RAS to promote agripreneurship and agribusiness was our main concern. We deliberated amongst ourselves and eventually came up with propositions and recommendations which were incoprated during the plenary sessions. By early midday, after four wonderful presentations on making RAS more “Climate-Smart”, scaling-up Climate Smart technologies and agricultural entrepreneurship (theory and practical approaches respectively) one could observe this intergenerational dissociation all around the place, merging to a defined hall, which was allocated for that occasion.Under the guidance of the Ypard-Cameroon officer and some other volunteers, translation was ensured, for an effective and inclusive comprehension from all youths present.
Under the moderation of Israel Bionyi Njoh( a young Cameronian and an intern at CTA), the YPARD Cameroon representative Nestor Ngouambe welcome the youth from other countries and thanked them for their presence at the workshop.This paved way for the first presentation axed on “Youth empowerment to promote agribusiness, within the sphere of RAS”, brought up the the country representative. Rich in content, it raised up more questions than expected especially within the effectiveness and efficiency of incubating youth in the agribusiness-like RAS approach.
Later on,Luke Smith from Trinidad and Tobago shared the success story of a youth institution in his country, recently established and presently undergoing an accruing expansion worldwide. Commonly known as WHYFarm that is “We Help You(th) Farm, its vision relies on “Growing Future Feeders from the ground Up”. Bearing in mind that Youth Opens Up The Horizon (YOUTH), the target was definitely youngsters of the base educational level. And what if you can align to the AGRI-EduTainment approach, via its AGRI POUL TREE, a realistic superhero who shall boost youth’s interest in getting more involved in Agriculture? All this brought to life the existence of AGRIMAN. In a 3 minutes video presented to the session participants, one really had to be there, to see the various expressions that were drawn on the faces of the audience. It was quite the WAAAOOUUHHH…Incredible, Fantastic, Amazing, Awesome, in fact, Indescribable…expirience and worth the huge standing applause of the project concept and its effective and rapid expansion worldwide.. As there say here in French: “ Chapeau Alpha et Luke pour cette briante idee.."
Interactions and networking followed the presentations and it was agreed that a Youth Network, destined to promote Agricultural Education and Extension Services to rural communities, needs to be established. Talk less, Act More…The restitutions being shared out to the participants in plenary, the general secretary of the West and Central African Rural Advisory Service Network (RESCAR-AOC), exchanged greetings with our country representative, expressing his acknowledgement on the work done by youths during the per-to-peer networking debats of the day and eventually, hoping to consolidate more effectively and efficiently, that productive collaboration in the years to come.
The YPARD 10 Years Celebrations
T-shirts on, flyers at hand, banner lifted up high, getting into the mist of parting all evening could be felt from all around the place. Ypardians form the local level, merged with those from the diaspora, gave birth to a more joyous and enthusiastic environment as we were about to celebrate YPARD’s 10th Anniversary, in the Cameroonian way. After a brief speech of our country representative, we all gathered round our Creamy, well-designed and huge cake to blow off the candles and sing loudly the joyous " Happy 10th Birthday YPARD song”. We wouldn’t stop promoting to the world in general and youths in particular, what it takes to be part of the Ypardian community and to keep promoting its actions so as to illustrate its engagement to sustain Agricultural Development and all that gravitates around it.
Limbe,the “Town of Friendship” made it happen. We made it happen and we will definitely stamp it in our minds and soul.
Happy 10th Anniversary YPARD!