by Simon Baluku, The Sunflower Farming Project
The Sunflower Farming Project was established to empower poor youths to develop entrepreneurial skills while providing them employment, among other things. The Project produces sunflower cooking oil sold by small vendors in the area. With our grant, we have been able to purchase and install an oil-manufacturing machine. It also transforms people’s lives as they work to make the project self-sustaining, which will help alleviate the poverty in this area.
Working together with parish support, the youth established the Viyudai Entrepreneurial Centre (vec), a Community Based Organization registered with local Tanzanian authorities. This platform empowers poor youth by engaging them in different and innovative self-help activities and also promoting self-employment by engaging in communal income generating activities in order to enable them to meet the basic needs of life, share knowledge and skills for innovation, and trigger creativity, talents for common good. As the project grows, it will benefit all the poor people in the project area through setting up small, community-based micro finance, enhancing small businesses to improve living conditions, especially for women and children at the margins of society, enabling them to meet basic needs of life in a sustainable manner.
At this time, the project works through careful development and expansion of resources to serve more people. Apart from vec, the youth are also involved in environmental conservation on the community level and crop husbandry with local women. Under the vec, the youth are working with volunteers both local and international developing skills, knowledge and exchanging of experience to learn new ideas.
The Sunflower Farming Project of Morogoro, Tanzania received a grant this summer from the Human Development Fund of the Kansas City Province.