Kawonga Empowers Youth to Be Entrepreneurs

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Kawonga Empowers Youth to Be Entrepreneurs

Bettie Kawonga speaks to students at ADM.

Bettie Kawonga speaks to students at ADM.

Photo by Steven Dobrzynski

Bettie Kawonga speaks to students at ADM.

Photo by Steven Dobrzynski

Photo by Steven Dobrzynski

Bettie Kawonga speaks to students at ADM.

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On October 17, ADM High School hosted Bettie Kawonga to speak about her business she has in Malawi and what she is doing to empower the youth.  Kawonga has firsthand experience with seeing the deficit in the job opportunities, and so she has taken it upon herself to start programs for youth or young individuals that are looking for employment out of schooling.  She says that her program is to create business incubation centers that will help young people become successful dairy entrepreneurs.

Kawonga created a program that trains individuals in Malawi, starting with a course that helps all that are enrolled get to know each other and trust each other so they can work hand in hand for seven to eight months along this journey to obtaining their own dairy cow that they raise and take care of.  This one cow after a couple years of daily care will be able to be bred, and then the farmer can grow and grow the herd until they are successful farmers themselves.  The farmer could also be provided with two piglets if they choose instead of a cow.

Once receiving training and receiving the calf or piglets,  the new farmer continues to get support and help for a year in the form of supplies, and guidance on how to treat the calf or piglets, and how to make sure that their animal(s) stay healthy.  After one year, the farmer will then go off on their own if their calf has survived and start to breed their cow so they can grow their herd.

When the farmer goes through this two-year process, they give back to the incubator center by providing the next year’s new farmers with a cow and helping a new entrepreneur start out and make sure they have everything they need to be successful. Kawonga has been awarded $150,000 from the 40 Chances Fellows towards her efforts in Malawi, and she has also attended the World Food Prize Conference.  Her other accomplishments include Generation Delegate for Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Global Food Security Symposium. Kawonga has earned her MSc in Animal Science from the University of Malawi, and her BSc in Agriculture.

Here is the link to the video of Kawonga speaking to the students.

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