The second part of Deborah Touw’s internship has started about 2.5 weeks ago. For the first part, she was based in Arusha (in the North of Tanzania) to do desk research about the Youth Involvement in Tanzania. This was done at the Agriprofocus/ SNV office together with a Tanzanian student: Aurelia Issack. After 4 weeks in Arusha it was time to start the field research. Together with 3 enumerators (Dismas C. Massawe, Meshack C. Otoore and Raymond F. Lyimo) who helped her with gaining information and translation.
After having a rough start in Iringa, we decided to change strategies when going to Njombe and Mbeya. This was a HUGE success! Before we tried to gather youth who were members of a co-operative in one single place, but we ended up with people older than 35 or people who were not members at all. Not satisfied with the results, we decided to ask the chairperson of the co-operative to lead us to the youth in the fields. This strategy worked and we encountered more youth, collected more data and ultimately this was a better experience for us all!
During the second part of my internship we were going to analyse the level of youth involvement at some of Agriterra’s clients and help them make action plans to improve youth participation in their cooperative. Raymond Lyimo, one of the enumerators of the first part of my research, joined me during my field research and visits. We started off in the Songea region, which is in the south of Tanzania. During the second part of my internship we were going to analyse the level of youth involvement at some of Agriterra’s clients and help them make action plans to improve youth participation in their cooperative. Raymond Lyimo, one of the enumerators of the first part of my research, joined me during my field research and visits. We started off in the Songea region, which is in the south of Tanzania.
The second week we visited MVIWAMBI co-operative in Mbinga, where our colleague, Yorick Bruijns, works at this moment! He gave us some new ideas with his insight on differences within and between co-operatives and associations. Our last visit was to MICU in Mbeya and here we saw a very different cooperative. MICU is more old fashioned compared to the other cooperatives and thus stands for a huge challenge!
Interviewing members of Mviwambi
After Mbeya we are off to Tukuyu where we will visit two other co-operatives and lastly we visit a cooperative in Lushoto. Up till this point, we gained valuable information, met many interesting and inspiring people, and noticed how cooperatives want grow and give youth a chance. The number of young members actively participating in their cooperative seems to be low while there are no actual numbers available. The topic is gaining ground but there is still a long way to go. In most cases, youth are very willing to learn and want their voices to be heard but lack the knowledge on where to begin. Together with the boards of these cooperatives, we made action plans to get more youth active.
This is an experience which we will never forget, thank you for giving us this opportunity!
Deborah Touw and Raymond F. Lyimo