Empowering Youth in Agriculture in Northern Uganda through Mentorship: Implications for Enhancing Inclusivity by SSE Organizations
After two decades of civil conflict in Northern Uganda, Ugandans are now returning to their communities to reestablish their livelihoods. Most youth don’t have skills to venture into Agriculture. MasterCard Foundation was interested in finding replicable approaches to getting youth involved in Agriculture. Qualitative methods were used in this study. 415 youth from the project were sampled out through simple random sampling and purposive sampling. Cleaned data was coded and analyzed with the help of a computer package ATLAS. In each district, two Focus Group Discussions (FGD) were held with sampled youth from project beneficiaries each Focused group discussion was comprised of five female and five male youth. Four Key Informant Interviews were also held, one per district. Findings from these interviews were triangulated with program reports, as well as staff reflections and experiences. This study adopted experiential learning theory which presents a cyclical learning model, consisting of four learning stages: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation leading to active experimentation and choice of new experience. The study sought to find out the role played by mentors in the success of the project. The research identified the following benefits of mentors: Mentors supported in Mobilizing and registration of Youth Associations with government, provided technical advice, resolved youth conflicts, supported youth access agricultural land and training to youth, linked youth to markets etc. This study is important to policy makers as youth unemployment is a concern in developing Nations.
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