The Bosco Youth Agricultural Centre (BYAC) is a project run by Manzini Youth Care (MYC) and supported financially by DON Bosco Mondo-Bonn and the German Government. The project started in January 2014 when the construction of the facilities for the training centre started. The overall goal of the project is to empower marginalized Swazi youth through vocational agricultural extension and training. Training consists of four modules permaculture, pig production, bee keeping and rural enterprise. The project aims to directly benefit 200 youth between 2015 and 2017 of which some will be from Manzini Youth Care residential homes. . The training intends to give youth an opportunity to start their own enterprise at their homesteads and/or gain employment in the Agri sector.
The students will be equipped with the right skills required to run a business and be self-sustaining without relying much on government funds. The course will be delivered twice a year on a six months residential basis at the training centre. Tuition, accommodation and food will be provided for free.
Students are not permitted to stay over the weekend and they are expected to travel to their homes every Friday and come back on Monday but parents or guardians will have to provide the trainees with transport fares.
Goals and objectives
- Train over 100 Swazi youth annually
- Empower youth with skills and knowledge to start up their own enterprise at home
- Reintegrate 90% of students to their homesteads with startup capital in the form of non-financial inputs such as seedlings and bee hives
- Increase the standard of living and income of the trained youth
At the end of the training students should be equipped with the knowledge and skills required to start and run a small – medium enterprise at their homesteads. Students will also be able to gain employment in the agriculture sector, and they also have the opportunity to further their studies at university. The course offers skills in basic agriculture practices and enterprise and the award for completion of the course is an NQF level 3. Students will gain practical and theoretical knowledge and skills in their respected fields. They will be able to take responsibility for completion of tasks and demonstrate some independence in their work or further studies. They will be equipped with field specific skills to carry out tasks and show personal interpretation through selection and adjustment of methods, tools and materials.
If one hopes to be part of this project, he/she must meet certain requirements or criteria in order to be considered for recruitment. Some of these qualities include; self-driven individual, commitment and dedication to their work, must be between the ages of 18-35 years old. Upon successful completion of the course, capital in a form of input will be provided and certificates will be awarded to all aspiring graduates. In order to monitor their progress in their various agricultural endeavors, home visits will be carried out as required.