Catholic Relief Services is improving the lives of adolescents in Rwanda and Zimbabwe. The Nike Foundation provided funding for CRS to study the impact of the programs on the lives of adolescent girls in the countries. This is part four in a four-part series about these programs.
By Patrick Carney
When Catholic Relief Services began working to help adolescents in Rwanda and Zimbabwe, they had a plan. But, until they got on the ground, met the kids and observed their lifestyle, they couldn’t know for sure the best ways to help give these children a better future.
In these countries, more than 50 percent of farmers are women, and many of them lack basic skills, which hurts their chances for success. Seeing a glaring need, CRS began a program to help adolescent girls receive critical agriculture skills.
Girls in Zimbabwe participated in the Junior Farming Field and Life Skills class where they meet weekly to learn about agriculture, business and life skills. This hands-on course helped the girls learn by trying different techniques in their own gardens. They work with successful farmers to learn which techniques produce the best results and ultimately the highest profits.