Gaia Education, WWF Zambia and the Young Emerging Farmers Initiative (YEFI) launched, on the 1st October 2017, a three-year project in the districts of Chitambo, Serenje and Mkushi in Central Province, Zambia.

The project will build capacity of 420 local youth leaders to become active and effective change agents in youth-led campaigning on social and environmental issues, sustainable income generation and food security actions. The youth change agents will reach out to 150,000 youth to raise awareness of the need for innovative social and natural systems management through multiplier actions on ecosystems regeneration and advocacy campaigns.

ZYCALA will harness Gaia Education’s expertise in community building, agroecology and livelihoods, WWF Zambia’s mastery of conservation, advocacy and communication, and YEFI’s experience in youth-led programmes and young farmers networks.

The empowered youth will work with households to increase food security through diversification and abundance of nutritional farm produce and 27 community enterprises. Beekeeping, vegetable conservation, fisheries, dried turmeric and native tree nurseries have been identified as great opportunities for youth-led income generation.

The project was approved for funding by the Scottish Government in September 2017, as part of its Zambia and Rwanda Development Programmes Funding Round.