Agri Business Skilling Enhances Mental and Financial Wellbeing for Youth
ICCO Uganda hosted an impact sharing event to close its collaboration with ZOA and War Child Holland in Bidi Bidi refugee settlement and the neighboring host community in Ariwa sub county, under the Agri Business Skilling for Youth in a Refugee Context (ABSYR) project.
Funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Uganda, the three-year project facilitated the improved socio-economic well-being of youth in Yumbe District through interventions targeting their psychosocial needs, agro production skills and business mindsets.
The event created a platform for dissemination of the project’s impact to representatives of the local government, members of civil society organizations and media. Some of the outstanding impact included:
- A marked increase in access to land for production for youth in refugee settlements through joint life skills strengthening and technical agri skills building interventions with host communities.
- Refugee youth abandonment of negative habits like drug abuse and GBV that they had adopted due to post conflict trauma through War Child Holland’s BIG DEALS approach to psychosocial support
- Increased financial management skills and capacity to engage in commercial agriculture by youth agribusiness groups as a result of ZOA Uganda’s Innovations and VSLA management trainings
- Enhanced access to finance through ICCO’s support of local micro-finance institutions, using its ACAT tool.
Testimonies from young farmers from the refugee and host communities also facilitated fruitful reflections on the best practices and lessons learnt from access to finance, improved production and productivity of high value crops and promoting access to markets by strengthening producer groups.
Job Lokule, refugee, Bidi Bidi Refugee settlement:
I came to Uganda as a refugee without hope of doing anything for myself. With the finance and business skills I now have, my group has been able to sell 800kg of onions and 90 basins of tomato in one season
Overall, the project impact effectively highlighted the importance of adding psychosocial welfare and economic development aspects to humanitarian interventions as a means of promoting sustainable community-led initiatives for improved livelihoods.