We are proud to announce a five-year, $18 million partnership with The MasterCard Foundation to launch a new program designed to equip 25,000 youth ages 15-24 with the skills to start and run agriculture-related businesses. The program will be implemented in Tanzania and Uganda through the East Africa Youth Inclusion Program (EAYIP).
EAYIP is being built on the success of our East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) program, one of the leading market-oriented development initiatives in East Africa. Improved dairy production and market access has impacted the lives of more than 1 million EADD participants since 2008.
A high youth population and growing demand for dairy in Tanzania and Uganda present opportunities for our model. After careful monitoring and evaluation of EADD, we identified key areas of need to extend the EADD program to include youth.
This is a groundbreaking program in that it is the first to specifically target youth in agriculture at scale. The program will create youth owned and managed businesses accompanied by employment opportunities around dairy hubs and other agricultural value chains.
To lift up young men and women, who continue to be underrepresented in the project, EAYIP will equip participants with technical and leadership skills; provide access to land, capital and productive assets; offer representation in the decision-making process; and help the communities continue to develop social capital around the project.
The investment from MasterCard Foundation will be supplemented by a $1 million revolving loan fund through Heifer. The fund will be available for youth who successfully complete the full training and are ready to start or expand a business.
Our values align with MasterCard Foundation’s philosophy to empower youth through education and training, provide mentorship programs and enhance access to financial services. By creating income-generating opportunities for young men and women, we will lift up a new generation of profitable small-scale farmers to self-reliance.