School gardening in Samoa: sowing seeds for youth employment in agriculture
Students from St Mary’s College in Apia, Samoa can finally begin their school garden project. The students have obtained the needed seeds and gardening equipment using vouchers they won at a competition, which was part of the World Food Day 2015 celebrations.
The vouchers were supplied by FAO through the UN Youth Employment Programme.
The competition provided an opportunity for the students to showcase projects and to provide an incentive to continue with agriculture in their studies and possibly as a career.
St. Mary’s College vice-principal Sina Fitu was pleased St Mary’s College received equipment and seeds which would used to encourage gardening activities at the school.
“We are very grateful to receive the tools and a variety of seeds to begin a project that we have wanted to do for a while” Said Ms Fitu. “This is the first time to do something like this and we are determined to make it work. We plan to begin the project at the end of April.”
Ms Fitu mentioned that the students themselves are also keen to start. “The girls are very interested in gardening”.
Our school has a food and nutrition programme. The garden will provide vegetables so we will not have to purchase as much from local markets”.
Ms Fitu also teaches economics at St Mary’s. “We will also be able to teach the students about budgeting. The garden will provide the vegetables we need so we won’t have to spend money to buy extra vegetables”.
ONE UN Youth Programme
FAO is one of five UN agencies that are supporting the Government of Samoa, through the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development to reduce youth unemployment. The other agencies are United Nations Development Programme, International Labour Organization, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and United Nations Volunteers.
The Ministry and the UN agencies will partner with both private sector and civil society organisations to provide this range of services to youth.
The programme activities will include support to the Samoa National Youth Council to establish a ‘Youth Employment Network’ that will provide information and basic employment services to facilitate successful entry to the labour market.
The programme has been designed with the specific objective of assisting young women and men to develop the knowledge and skills needed to enter the labour market, and to provide them with the additional supporting services needed to secure employment opportunities in either waged employment or in small business development.
International Labour Organization Youth Employment Programme provides assistance to countries in developing efforts on youth employment.
This article first appeared via FAO on 2 May 2016