Isaac, 23 years old, is one of the 150 Zambian youths who have benefited from the Youth Empowerment Project that is giving young men and women the chance to learn skills and change their lives.
Isaac leads a group called Ulimbe that gives 6 young men and 4 young women a chance to participate in field activities, leadership and decision making. The group started a banana plantation in 2011 and now harvests bananas from their 35 plants every two months.
From their November harvest the group managed to sell 120kg of bananas, which has allowed Isaac to buy food and other basic needs for his two children. He can even buy iron sheets for the new house he plans to build for his young family.
When the project started, Isaac and other group members had no knowledge of planting and no source of regular income. Thanks to the training he's received, Isaac has learned how to plant and water banana plants and how to identify unhealthy plants.
The Ulimbe group has great plans for the future. Its members have agreed to a savings target of K100,000,000.00 (NZ$22,987), which they will use to buy a truck and diversify into the transport business. As group leader, Isaac continues to encourage his group members to work hard and visits them at home when they do not turn up for group work. He'd like to keep his group together for an upcoming fish farming project.
Isaac also has his own plans for the future. He'd like to start his own personal business within the next three years and diversify into livestock farming in the next 10 years. These plans mean Isaac's family will have steady access to basic needs and will ensure a bright future for his children as well.
For more information about ChildFund's work in Zambia, please visit the Zambia country page.