In 2004 Kibidula started the agricultural training program (Ag School), which aims to help vulnerable youth ages 14-22, by providing a safe environment where they can learn many important skills and gain an education academically, practically, and spiritually . This school is funded primarily by Reach-Switzerland and has a basic enrollment of 45 students. The training equips them with tools that will enable them to improve the local farming economy when they return to their home villages.
Program outline at the present:
* 2-year program
* Work study training in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry
* Additional practical training in carpentry and tailoring
* Trade tests grades III to I from VETA (Vocational Education Authority of Tanzania)
An outstanding feature of this program is the educational housing unit – a dormitory adapted to the educational need of the student – designed to allow cross-cultural exposure and to facilitate agricultural production. These farm units are practically self-supplying.
The activities include:
* Classes in English, General topics, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Beekeeping, Horticulture
* Practical work: field crops, gardening, beekeeping, keeping of small farm animals
* Seminars on Health and Family life
* Choir, Devotions
The school year starts in August, Graduation is mid-June, followed by the entrance interviews for the new intake.
The vocational training at Kibidula is unique in that it is an agricultural training center specifically for primary school failures and secondary school drop outs, giving them a second chance to become educated and contributor to society. This program is free to the student so that the poorest student who really wants to learn can attend for two to four years. Students who pass the final exams, receive a government issued vocational certificate which helps them to enter the work force as skilled laborers.
At the mission these boys and girls live on three separate farm units, 2 for boys and 1 for girls, where they put into practice all they learn in the classroom. They grow their own food, keep their own livestock, have their own beehives, press their own oil, plant their own avocado orchards, and sell extra crops.
In addition to agriculture they learn carpentry and sewing skills. And the best news of all is that these youth are nurtured and sheltered for a few more years where they can mature and develop their life skills in a safe environment. Over 90% of these young people accept the love of Jesus for them personally and are baptized before leaving Kibidula.
But the need of these vulnerable youth is so big that we have outgrown the original perimeters set for the program in our effort to help more boys and girls.
Therefore we are very grateful for the extra classroom space that was added to the program in 2016/2017 as well as six small teachers houses. We now have more girls than boys enrolled in the program but because we have only one farm unit. The girls need for a second girls dormitory, that is clean and neat and free from harassment, is real. We want to express our sincere appreciation to the Lord and to ASI for choosing this project to be a part of the ASI 2017 Missions Offering. This offering is enabling us to build a new dormitory that will house and educate an additional 42 girls! Building is progressing fast and we are aiming at having the facility functioning by April 2018.
A huge thank you also to individual donors, mission partners, and REACH Switzerland for fundraising and providing funds for solar systems for all four dormitories.
We look forward to seeing how the Lord will bless and help us help these young people not only to realize their worth in this world, but to be part of that army of youth that will spread the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ across the world. Thank you for partnering with us in this blessed work!
Teachers and group leaders: