Raleigh International receives support from Saint-Gobain Foundation for innovative new rural youth livelihoods project in Tanzania

4th September 2019

Saint-Gobain Foundation are funding one year of a new and innovative project in the Mkingu Forest Nature Reserve to support sustainable livelihoods, help rural youth lift themselves out of poverty and make long-lasting contributions to the local economy.

Created by youth-driven sustainable development charity Raleigh Tanzania, the partnership focuses on empowering youth who live on the periphery of Mkingu Forest Nature Reserve in the Morogoro region of Tanzania with the skills and confidence to establish successful and sustainable enterprises. The supported project is called Rural Inclusive Sustainable Enterprise through Youth (RISE).

One of the largest protected areas in the region, Mkingu is a biodiversity hotspot and home to rare and threatened species, but it also has the highest tree loss rate. The reliance on the forest, among the 25 communities on the periphery, for livelihood generation has compounded habitat loss, deforestation and degradation. With little access to important agricultural assets, support services, low skills levels and poor market access, youth living here are particularly reliant on encroachment to support their incomes.

Through the partnership, the Saint-Gobain Foundation and Raleigh Tanzania are working with 240 Tanzanian youth, who will be provided with technical training and support in the establishment of their own environmentally and financially sustainable enterprises.

RISE will develop pathways for young entrepreneurs to safeguard their futures, providing opportunities for youth in rural communities to create livelihoods and sustainably manage their natural resources in a way that fosters long-term conservation. Participants will graduate with the skills, knowledge and social capital they need to establish their own sustainable enterprises.

To support this aim, the RISE project includes the establishment of six Youth Enterprise Groups (YEGs) which will provide youth with a forum through which they can access start-up capital, additional training and resources, ensuring a self-sustaining environment where youth will be empowered to access the support necessary to establish and grow their enterprises for generations to come.

The relationship with the Saint-Gobain Foundation is led by Saint-Gobain employee Stanley Katabarwa, Technical Specialist. Stanley says of the project: “With over 800,000 youth in Tanzania entering the labour market each year, investment in programmes that support sustainable livelihoods, help youth lift themselves out of poverty, and make long-lasting contributions to local economies, is of critical importance.”

James Sutton, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Raleigh, said: “As the first partner to fund our new RISE project, the Saint-Gobain Foundation are enabling not just impact with young people and on a precious natural environment, but are enabling us to progress our livelihoods programme innovations such as the Youth Enterprise Group concept”.