My name is Fungisayi Ian Mutseyekwa. I am a 25 year old male from Harare Zimbabwe. I am currently working on a small scale greenhouse horticulture project I call “Horticulture Powered Education.”
This project was inspired by my passion for self-employment through agriculture and a ten week placement on the International Citizen Service program, where I got the chance to volunteer with people of different backgrounds and cultures and also work with the less privileged in society. This experience was an eye opener to situations our fellow humans are in, some of them being terrible and poverty stricken.
The CS program helped me realize that a little help will go a long way and that it takes our combined efforts to better the lives of our less privileged in society. I for one would like to fight such situations by equipping my younger brothers and sisters with education.
Horticulture Powered Education is a project aimed at assisting orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) with their school needs: fees, uniforms, stationery, etc., through the sales of its produce to local supermarkets, vendors and most importantly the community we operate in. It also aims to create employment and to one day be a major player in feeding the nation.
We are currently supporting three intelligent secondary school children that work with Simukai Child Protection Program in Mutare Zimbabwe. We have managed to pay their school fees for first term of 2016 (January- April), purchase uniforms and stationery for the entire 2016 learning period, and we managed to do this with sales of our first month only.
Our Project was sabotaged by thieves who stole the greenhouse plastic leaving the greenhouse bare and plants exposed and eventually they died out, forcing us to stop the project. We are hoping to get back in operation so we can continue supporting our beneficiaries who are dependent on us.
The assistance program we had provided to finance their school fees had stopped paying it, thus forcing the schools they are enrolled in throw them out. We have since rectified that situation but we are headed for another negative turn of events if we do not get back in operation soon.
If we (HPE) are to be grant beneficiaries we would like to revive the project and at the same time increase our operations as we were previously operating on a small scale (300 square meters) and failing to meet our markets demands drastically. We would like to resuscitate the current greenhouse and get it operational again, and also erect a second similar one to increase productivity and variety.
Our last crop was tomatoes only and it was also the projects first crop, which did well, and if it were not for the unfortunate events we would have succeeded. We would like to add cherry tomatoes and colored peppers to the next batch we grow.
This is a self-sustaining project that only requires startup capital and if done well regenerates the startup capital and a bit of profit in its first season, that is, 6-8 months after set up. We would also like to increase the number of beneficiaries to 6 and as our operations increase they will also increase at the same time the creation of employment.
Progress and success are to be measured by receipts and payments made, input versus output , community impact, growth of the project and testimonies of beneficiaries, all of which is to be recorded and reported by email updates, facebook posts, whatsapp, and site visits to mention but a few.
I hope to get a favorable response from you and work with you in my venture to educate the less privileged while feeding the nation and creating employment – a win for all three aspects of this project. God bless.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Ian Mutseyekwa (Zimbabwe) – ianfmutseyekwa[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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