Getting by with a little help from friends…and a tractor

A tractor to call their ownphoto10227 Teamwork. That’s all it took for a group of youth in Sierra Leone to successfully launch their careers. Together, they joined a Plan-supported Village Savings and Loans group and began investing in their future. Next, the entrepreneurial youth group rented land from the local authorities to harvest crops, like cassava and rice and, when the season changes, yams and potatoes. But the group took a profitable turn when they used their group savings to purchase a tractor, a rice thrasher and two taxis.
Thanks to the new tractor, crop yields increased immediately. So too did the demand for the tractor itself. The group began renting their tractor to local farmers and land owners. They even provided the paid labour to operate the tractor, too! Business was booming. To keep up, the group hired local community members to help plant and harvest their crops. They paid their new employees using their collective savings.

Everyone involved in the farm project pose together in a group photo.
Everyone involved in the farm project pose together in a group photo.
Since the youth group began their farming project, group members have increased their savings and used the money to support their families. Incredibly, members have even begun loaning funds to community members in need. The group’s next purchase will be a vehicle to transport their crops to the market. But their long-term goal is to set-up a small shop so they can sell their goods year round, and launch a training program to help local youth learn about farming. Though their future exploits remain unclear, one thing is for sure: these youth are role models on and off the job. Their work is impacting the entire community, all thanks to a little teamwork.
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