Youth Service Program

Location: Zambia

Tevel has found that tapping into the energy and idealism of village youth, who have the ability to rapidly adapt and learn, is an amazingly effective way to penetrate the community and reach every corner of the village. In Mphande, Tevel has launched a Youth Service Program (YSP) for young adults, providing them with parcels of land, access to drip irrigation and a stipend, in exchange for their full-time participation in this two-year program. YSP participants help to mobilize the villages and bring new techniques and ideas from and to their own families and neighborhoods. Tevel works with the youth to provide an array of enriching soft- and hard-skills courses, from mediation and leadership skills to first aid. Recruited from every part of the project area, the YSP group knows the families and layout of the villages intimately. They are thus able to advance new agricultural techniques as well as new forms of organization (for example, savings groups) to every home in the area.

Tevel started the Youth Service Program (YSP) 7 years ago after the devastating earthquake in Nepal, as a way to deeply penetrate the village and ensure the sustainability of new techniques and micro-enterprises.  Rohit Moktan and  Suklal Tamang from a rural village near Kathmandu both participated in Tevel’s YSP.  Following their participation, Rohit was diagnosed with cancer and was hospitalized while at the same time his wife gave birth to their first child. There was no one from his family to care for Rohit during his battle with cancer. Suklal, who knew Moktan well from their village and their joint experience in the YSP, stayed with him and cared for him until he fully recovered. 

Rohit believes that he has been given a “second life” and thus has the responsibility to impart the younger generation with life skills and coaching on values such as compassion, integrity and co-existence. Both Sukalal and Rohit have started their own farms in the village. They sell seedlings in neighboring villages and in Kathmandu. Both Suklal and Rohit credit Tevel with providing them with entrepreneurial and life skills and fostering a sense of compassion, respect for humanity and co-existence.

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