ZYCALA! Change Agents – An Update
Last October, Gaia Education, WWF Zambia and the Young Emerging Farmers Initiative launched a three-year Scottish Government funded project in the districts of Chitambo, Serenje and Mkushi in Central Province, Zambia.
Zambian Youth for Conservation, Agriculture and Livelihood Action (ZYCALA!) aims to build the capacity of 420 local youth leaders to become active and effective change agents in youth-led campaigning on social and environmental issues, sustainable income generation and food security actions. The youth change agents will reach out to 150,000 youth and work with households to increase food security through diversification of crops and community-led enterprises.
Over 500 enthusiastic rural youth are learning deep lessons on how to establish a regenerative food system embedded in the ecosystems they are part of. With 15 enriching training events in the first six months, including Community Building and Future Scenarios, Conservation Agriculture, Beekeeping, Compost Making and Agroforestry, they recently showcased their organic produce at a regional agricultural fair captivating the attention of 2000 visitors and demonstrating a unique combination of conservation agriculture and rural youth economic empowerment.
With new practical skills they have now established 11 demonstration sites spread through local districts to practice new techniques, respecting and co-designing within the ecological boundaries and potential of their territory.
As we enter the second year, ZYCALA plans to further strengthen the capacities of 210 youth change agents in agro-ecological farming, beekeeping, poultry, food preservation and co-operative business models. Furthermore to support those youths to be powerful advocates in taking these messages of environmental hope and regeneration to the wider community of Zambian Central Province.