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Welcoming YPARD Europe Coordinator: Libuška Valešová

We are delighted to welcome our YPARD Europe Coordinator: Libuška Valešová

Libuška is a member of the Department of Economics and Development at the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences at the Czech University of Life Sciences (CULS) which is just days short of becoming a hosting institution for the YPARD Europe. The  CULS’s Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences (FTA) partners closely with numerous key aid projects of some developing countries, an agenda rather unique for not only any Czech university but of any academic institution within the Central European region. The FTA with all aspects of tropical and subtropical agriculture – didactics, research and development programs. 

Throughout her studies at the FTA,Libuška decided to focus on the socioeconomic analysis of Indonesia, particularly on household food security and household livelihood strategies in the North Sumatra province. She is currently working on her doctorate.

"I consider Indonesia to be my home away from home. I’ve been physically collecting research data there for over three years in a row. I’m a huge fan of the hands-on approach so for me it’s about renting a bicycle and personally interviewing smallholders within the area of my research, the very people dependent on agriculture as the main source of their livelihood.  Being that the Indonesian people are so incredibly friendly and kind-hearted, my work in the field is always a pleasure.”

She’s taken her ongoing research a step further by signing up to work for the Institute of Technology DEL in Sumatra as a General Supervisor for Undergraduate and Graduate students, helping other like-minded young Czechs follow her footsteps.

"Taking up an opportunity to play part in strengthening the cooperation between CULS and Institute of Technology DEL allowed me to pave roads for dozens of students to put their theoretical knowledge to practical use right there in Indonesia. All the students participating in the programs get to not only publicly present the best of their personal research here but in various ways also physically contribute to the actual rural development of the North Sumatra province.”

Alongside the aforementioned school related activities, Libuška has also actively participated in several  development projects of the Czech Development Agency, an agency directly reporting to the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a Temporary Expert at CzDA she was assigned implementation of new strategies that would lead to teaching quality improvement at two major Universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the University of Mostar and the University Džemal Bijedić. 

"On top of the theoretical lectures on Food Production and the Economics of Farming Systems, we organized workshops with the aim to help students improve their chances of getting a job where they can apply this acquired knowledge and actually make an impact. These workshops were mainly focused on soft skills strengthening, writing a great resumé along with a letter of motivation, and inspiring them through personal experiences. Seeing all those young people eagerly taking in all that we had to share was ultimately rewarding.“

On a similar note, Libuška was involved in a project raising awareness of university students of the Czech Development Cooperation. 

"As it turns out, many students or young people in general have no idea what the development cooperation is all about. So we talked to them about everything from the background of these projects to their actual outputs, invited experts to speak on the subjects, set up various workshops and also photo exhibitions. Projects like these are extremely important, the feedback in sense of people wanting to participate was enormous once we put the information out there.”

In April, Libuška didn't miss her opportunity to attend the GCARD3 Global Event in South Africa. She was invited to take part into the Partner Assembly, together with YPARD Director, Courtney Paisley and other Youth Delegates.    

We can’t wait to hear more from the Youth-in-Agriculture in Europe  under Libuška Valešová leadership.

Welcome on board Libuška Valešová.

If you are from or based in  Europe, please contact Libuška Valešová at europe@ypard.net