Whispering Hope Africa Initiative (WHAI) had a focus group discussion in July 2020 involving the youths in Anaku community of Ayamelum LGA. 34 youths (26 males and 8 females) participated including two staff members from Coscharis Farms.
We had 11 question-discussion guide that enabled us understand more of their challenges and the interventions they seek for. The discussion went on for an hour 30 minutes. During the discussion, we were made to understand that the major problems they as youths face in the Anaku community include their lack in basic skills needed for them to thrive e.g. education and entrepreneurship. They made known that most of the youths who live on hard drugs are mainly school drop outs. They mostly drop out from school because of lack of parental support, poverty and negligence.
Sharing some of the challenges they are facing in their community, we understood that youth restiveness, drug abuse, lack of education and entrepreneurship skills constitute a huge problem. Lack of modern agricultural skills and facilities also pose a huge threat as they narrated that a good number of them are unemployed, some venture into small scale business, and the farmers been duped on several occasions trying to access loans.
The rural-based youths were open and showed sign of excitement for the FGD. They requested for more of such once in a while and at the same time pleaded we start training them right away on some of the issues arising from the discussion.
From the discussion, we can deduce their pressing needs are:
Train on agricultural skill
Capacity building on entrepreneurship including financial literacy
Booking keeping and business structuring (for easy loan assessment)
Talent discovery, developing and utilizing same
Providing access to market for their farm produce as sometimes they sell below the cost price
Give them access to farm machineries
The foremost need is value orientation to turn around their mindsets and promote confidence. Once their mindset is changed and positive, it will help every other intervention to work and be well received.
However, the value orientation can be integrated with partial exposure to talent/passion discovery, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, leadership, book keeping, market access and tech skills.
Reported by Ezinwa Chinyere for @WHAIafrica