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Youthful passion to contribute to sustainable food systems

Born in the late 1980s in Kasese in the western part of Uganda, Charles Masereka Yoronimu is a Ugandan Youth leader, Farmer, Blogger, Accountant, Sports leader and Climate Activist. He is the communications focal person for YPARD Uganda chapter, ensuring that adequate and useful information is relayed to youth. He is also the founder of YAFRA Uganda, a community-based organization that works to train and inspire youth to engage in agriculture as an alternative source of income and livelihood, empowering youth to be self-reliant through creating and supporting youth-based projects. The organization is also involved in undertaking Climate Action initiates, like climate change sensitization campaigns, tree planting, tree distribution, community engagement through community cleanups.

Hailing from a family with parents who are farmers themselves, Masereka developed the love for agriculture at an early age of 12 years, with a jackfruit tree he planted and that still survives to date. From the benefits he derived from this tree, he realized that there was an opportunity he could tap from farming. After being educated by parents with funds generated from agriculture, Masereka opted to try out what his parents are good at and that was the start of his journey to active farming. He is mainly involved in urban farming in the central city district of Wakiso as well as large-scale farming in his home district of Kasese.

Through his on-farm hands-on training, Masereka has been able to inspire and motivate his peers to learn better farming methods and also to engage in agriculture as an income source. He has been organizing farm engagements with Uganda’s top farmers and in these engagements, he goes with youth who get first-hand experience and knowledge on farming. He also shares the videos from these engagements on his organization’s YouTube channel so that those who are not able to physically attend the engagements can also benefit. He has also hosted many young people at his home to learn on best practices in urban farming and how to succeed in the same using a small piece of land. As an environment and agriculture blogger on Uganda’s top online website, Masereka has promoted research for agriculture and environment students and researchers, thus helping to foster solutions to the global challenges of hunger and climate change. As a communications focal person for YPARD Uganda, Masereka has brought information from various agricultural engagements to the youth through social media and blogs on websites. The trees he has planted and distributed have helped to regulate weather partners and support carbon sequestration, thus reducing the carbon footprint and ultimately supporting a steady agricultural sector.

Masereka is motivated by the desire to build sustainable food systems and to also ensure that there is created an environment that supports both human and wildlife to live together in harmony. He longs to see a world where people value trees and look at them as a source of life than a source of nature. He also wishes to see a world where hunger is a challenge of the past as people highly engage in agriculture to increase food production and improve the value chain.