Oct 2016 1st Edition

Youth project uplifts community

written by Sekgabo Kedijang
The Bokamoso Agricultural Innovation Hub is having a positive impact on the community of Manyeledi in North West. The hub, situated in the Kagisano Molopo Local Municipality, is helping young people fight poverty and unemployment.

Bokamoso team members from left: Goitsimang Barapami, Ashley Arent (visitor from Texas, USA), Lesego Serolong (Founder of Bokamoso Impact Lab) and students Matlhogonolo Pitso, Gopolang Montshiwa.The social enterprise has also introduced innovative agricultural solutions to the community of Manyeledi with the aim of tackling the lack of basic resources with commercial strategies and natural asset mobilisation.

The Bokamoso Agricultural Innovation Hub employs six full-time employees and is dedicated to uplifting remote, underdeveloped areas of the country.

Through the hub, community members underwent training for four months and were provided with a basic course in agriculture which started with seedlings, advanced to planting and ended off with guidelines and tutorials on how to harvest.

In an interview with Vuk’uzenzele, founder and project leader of Bokamoso Lesego Serolong said she chose Manyeledi because she wanted to bring opportunities closer to rural communities.

 “The main reason for creating the enterprise was to get young people interested in agriculture and begin to see it as a business. This will improve accessibility to fresh produce in areas that lack healthier options and are plagued by health issues.”

The vegetables produced at the hub are supplied to local public schools and shops.

The enterprise, which currently has two hubs operating in North West province, aims to take its model to all nine provinces in South Africa and the rest of Africa.

“I believe in the potential of young South Africans and the young people in Kagisano Molopo possess equal capability, like any other young people. The most important thing that we need to do as a civil society facing the triple challenge of poverty, employment and inequality is to ask ourselves what then do we do. We need to find solutions to our problems,” said Serolong. 

The enterprise also runs an afterschool programme with a library for the local community. The aim of the programme is to expose young children to farming at an early age.

Rural development
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