Tamara Jaynes via Crowdrise
January 12, 2011
BENEFITING: GOOD SAMARITAN MINISTRIES
EVENT DATE: Jan 11, 2011
The purpose of this school is to educate, empower, and encourage girls to provide for their own needs and for their future. Classroom instruction and assignments will be paired with hands on learning and development on the farm. The curriculum will include permaculture, sustainable farming with organic fertilizer, composting/mulching, efficient use of water, husbandry, reforestation, and working at a maize mill. They will be introduced to new plants and produce that will provide a much more diverse diet.
Our project strives to develop each student in a holistic manner. We educate them, provide experience, and our resident assistant counsels them on ethics, morals, social issues, AIDs awareness, etc. Students mature and develop self-esteem and self worth. This encourages them to restrain from prostitution and young childbirth and empowers them to see their life as an opportunity for success.
Our target group is teen girls because they are the future of Malawi, the cornerstone in society. These girls live in a culture where women care for the children and home, plant and harvest the garden, and often have a small business to sustain the family. Good business sense is essential to reach their goals. My Backyard teaches business principles such as marketing, inventory planning, cash savings, and most importantly putting together a business plan. They work at the maize mill and in the store and gain understanding and hands on experience in running a profitable business.
This project will be self sustaining within two years as we develop the farm and finalize the maize mill. The produce grown on the farm will provide the students food and surplus will be sold at the market along with maize flour. The chickens, pigs, and goats will also be sold to help sustain the program and will provide the community with additional protein sources. At the current time there is limited protein sales which has led to high prices and the inability of common families to purchase meat more than once or twice a year.
Community involvement and improvement is also a key element in My Backyard. Each student will be paired with two elderly or handicapped individuals in the community. The student will develop a relationship with their community partners and practice their skills and curriculum assignments in the backyards of those individuals. This is a big part of Good Samaritan work…helping others by giving back. In addition, each student will be paired with a successful woman entrepreneur that will show them how they run their business and mentor them in good business practices. These partnerships will be instrumental in the success of the student and the partnership with the community. Lastly, the community will be offered monthly free of charge seminars where the students will demonstrate to the community skills they have learned or new produce that they want to introduce by giving out seeds and showing the growth and harvesting of a particular plant.
A graduating student will venture out with the skills, education, experience, and maturity to start a business. They will be apart of our alumni program and report into My Backyard on a regular basis. Staff members will visit their business and continue to mentor them in successful business practices as well as life skills and decisions. They will maintain relationships with their community partners.