Researchers at Johns Hopkins University explain that “the greatest impacts felt by adolescents stem from school closures, being in the house, and not getting to see friends and peers” (1). Hony echoed this sentiment, explaining that adolescents participating in the Youth Leadership program have felt isolated, discouraged, and doubtful at different points during these past few months.
Luckily for our Youth Leaders, Hony is working to find safe and meaningful ways to continue engaging with them as they reach their entrepreneurial goals!
Currently, Hony is working with two groups of Youth Leaders, one in San Martín and another in Patzilin Abaj. Both groups are in different stages of their participation in the program; the San Martín group is in their second year, while the Patzilin Abaj group is already in their third. The typical trajectory of our Youth Leadership Project is one year of capacity building and familiarizing participants with organization and leadership through management of an organic school garden. In year two, participants initiate their own project and learn more about modeling a business, drafting a budget, and monitoring and evaluating their progress. Finally, in year three, participants grow their businesses, learn about business leadership and sustainability, and practice using the CANVAS business model.
For the group in San Martín, Hony plans to conduct the two workshops centered around project ideation, budget planning, and business modeling in an online format. Working with Pueblo a Pueblo to ensure that participants have access to internet and appropriate technology, Hony is very hopeful that these workshops will help get our leaders back on track. He says that although meeting in person and launching the team’s project this year is not possible, they have discussed a new start date for the beginning of 2021!
As for our Patzilin Abaj group, Hony explains that although they cannot sell in the local market right now, the group does have a small savings fund that has allowed them to keep up with their chickens during COVID-19. He spoke with this group of young entrepreneurs about restarting their project when it is safe to do so, and about potentially workshopping new chicken-related projects.
Pueblo a Pueblo knows that empowering young people is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty, and despite recent challenges, our Youth Leaders are well on their way to becoming young entrepreneurs.
Can you help support our Youth Leaders as they navigate this challenging time?