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Six years down the road - El-Shadai piggery project has maintained its ground

In 2017 when Nanyonjo Florence became stuck with employment, she had a tip off from her friend, she came to Youth With A Vision seeking help to start an income to generate income to look after herself and her children. Good enough, we were able to enroll her on our Youth Finance Scheme, through which we provided her with financial literacy, business planning and management skills, internship on piggery farming, startup capital in form of a loan and on-going mentorship. She then started El-Shadai piggery project with a few piglets, with passion and desire to become sustainable.

During our routine support services, in mid - May 2023 we visited over 20 youth including those that graduated and those who are still supported by the Youth Finance Scheme. Florence is one of those graduates that we visited, and we were just amused to find her project progressing well, contributing to her economic development and influencing the community.

Our apprenticeship staff - Jacqueline, toured Florence's piggery farm and had a face-to-face interaction where Florence expressed how her deep-rooted passion for pig husbandry and strong desire to get out of poverty have helped her to make a steady progress and to change her life.

Wearing a strong smile while conducting our staff around her farm, Florence started like this;

''I am glad that now I have an income and I am able to provide for my needs and her children without being disrespected''.

She then continued.

''I feed my pigs well, I maintain their good health by vaccinating and deworming them. I periodically clean the pigs Stys and this helps to keep their hygiene and fight of disease''.

Florence breeds' pigs, and when they deliver piglets, she sells some piglets and retains others to multiply. The income she gets from the sales, help to provide for her needs and children's welfare, and reinvests a portion to maintain the farm.

Florence attributes the success of her project at a number of factors which she proudly mentions. ''I continually keep proper records of my business. I ensure effective feed practices; I focus on piggery welfare and maintain strong relationships with suppliers of feeds and customers who buy my piglets so that no one gets upset''.

The piggery project has registered several milestones including expansion of structures, stock, increased profitability and community influence which Florence goes on to outline.

''My farm has expanded; I don't go below 8 pigs and 60 piglets in a year. I try to keep this number in order to effectively manage my farm. The community come to me for quality breed of piglets, training and advice''.

Florence is an inspiration for other youth who are interested in pig farming and starting low to become sustainable. She also offers internship for some of the youth that we enroll on our Youth Finance Scheme.

Whereas Florence made some success with her piggery farm, she meets some challenges along the way as she continued to speak to our staff.

''At the inception of the business, I ignorantly acquired a poor breed of piglets, and they stagnated in growth, I made losses in feeding them. After recovering poor breed, there came an outbreak of the swine fever and all my new stock of quality and expensive breed of pigs died. Some died when they were pregnant. Despite all of these challenges, I never gave up. Another challenge has been that of establishing reliable market linkages for my piglets and pigs but through persistence, networking and leveraging my local connections, I have now overcome these obstacles and ensured a steady supply of quality pigs and feeds''.

Well, we applaud Florence for her resilience and hard work which have made her business successful, and we express our gratitude to all our partners, sponsors and supporters who generously donate to empower youth like Florence create own employment to become sustainable.

We hope this story continues to inspire others in the same business to remain persistent and resilient until they attain their goals. We also hope our intervention in Florence's predicament and the difference it has created, will inspire and attract more funding to support more unemployed youth to turn around their lives and become productive.

In the picture:

Florence (in the green spotted dress) and our staff Jacqueline (in the blue Jean trousers) touring the piggery farm.

Learn more about how we empower the youth to become sustainable.

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