School of Agriculture
The Kibidula Agricultural school is a 3.5 year program that is holistic and well rounded. Not only do the students study the knowledge of agricultural farming, but they get their hands into the soil. There are four farm units as we call them, two girls units and two boys units. They are groups of students who live, study, and work together on the farm. Each farm unit has a portion of land in which they work and harvest the bounty. The students have rooms to sleep, a kitchen, meeting place, and carpentry/tailoring shop. Our students express much gratitude for the opportunity that Kibidula has given them.
In 2004 Kibidula started the agricultural training program (Ag School), which aims to help vulnerable youth ages 14-22, by providing a safe environment where they can learn many important skills and gain an education academically, practically, and spiritually . This school is funded primarily by Reach-Switzerland and has 77 students enrolled currently. The training equips them with tools that will enable them to improve the local farming economy when they return to their home villages.
An outstanding feature of this program is the educational housing unit – a dormitory adapted to the educational need of the student – designed to allow cross-cultural exposure and to facilitate agricultural production self-supplying.
School Year: August – mid June
New Intake Interviews: mid June – July
Certifications Administered: Trade test grade III to I from VETA (Vocational Education Authority of Tanzania)
Through practical hands-on training and encouragement, students are being taught conventional and improved methods of cultivation of crops. Farming God’s Way principles and teaching are opening the eyes of many students that much more can be done with a small area of land when faithfulness is practiced in every step of the process. Students are not only learning better methods of growing food, but that God cares about everything. God cares about them. Through God’s principles, they can experience life and life more abundant and through Farming God’s Way principles, many, many spiritual lessons are reenforced daily as they work their individual plots of crops. Through agricultural practices, student can learn how to support their families and have surplus to sell to supply the needs of their families (and future families.) Many practical lessons can be learned in the cultivating of crops. (It also greatly increases the nutrition and variety of their daily diets! The students also have the opportunity to learn livestock care, and have the opportunity to sit for a national VETA exam upon completion of classes. This certificate often is helpful in applying for work if they chose to go to work for an agricultural organization after leaving school.
Kibidula carpentry class is in addition to the agricultural school. Many of the young men participate in the course that teaches them the valuable skill of carpentry. Carpentry is an age old profession that has its importance even today and not an inch of its significance has boiled down. The basic manual task is still done by the carpenters. With the importance and demand in carpentry, vocational courses on carpentry are imparted to make more and more people professionally established. This is just one more area which either makes these young men in more demand in the workplace, or start their own carpentry business, or provide tables, chairs, and beds for their own homes.
The Kibidula Tailoring class provides young women with skills and experience. Sewing can be used to work for a company, start a business, or provide clothes for the family. The Agricultural School Project cares deeply for the women and their empowerment. We often think about humanitarian efforts being done only by doctors, nurses, teachers, builders, etc., but really we all have a way to help, especially in creative industries.