MEET TALENT

Talent Vharachumu

Country: Zimbabwe
Track: Employment
Position: Climate Smart Agriculture Guide Programme Fellow
Host company/organization: CAMFED Zimbabwe
About position: Participate in review meetings organized by CAMFED Zimbabwe to ensure all skills are kept up to date. This will be an opportunity to network with other young people, share successes and challenges faced. | Build project management and leadership skills by planning, coordinating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating project objectives | Build and coordinate relationships with stakeholders in the agricultural value chain – from traditional leadership, business, education, public and private institutions, etc. – to achieve project goals. | Build and expand partnerships with relevant institutions that promote youth empowerment in agriculture and link CAMFED Association members to such institutions at both district and national levels. | Develop professional relationships with stakeholders and build new networks to support own personal development, as well as their transition to employment, further research and employment. | Work with CAMFED Association leaders to design and structure their community outreach – to support rural communities in building resilience, improving productivity, and reducing emissions.| Promote, implement, observe and adhere to the CAMFED Child Protection Policy in all operations. | Participate in the training of agripreneurs and other young people in partner districts | Participate in review meetings organized by CAMFED Zimbabwe to ensure that all skills are kept up to date. This will be an opportunity to network with other young people, share successes and problem-solve common challenges. ​

Talent was raised in a rural area in west Zimbabwe. She has nurtured her passion for agriculture from a very young age and during high school, she volunteered as a peer educator for primary and secondary schools in her community where she led workshops to promote education, especially to young women.

Talent knew that EARTH provided the kind of education she needed to make a real change in her country. “You must employ yourself through agriculture. It is a life skill. I think that’s why I’ve always liked agriculture. Our education in most African countries is very theoretical. The problem is that after graduation the person is only looking for an employer. But if one learns practical skills, they can employ themselves. It is for that reason that I wanted to come to EARTH.” Throughout her four years at EARTH, Talent learned how to work with different people, cultures, and beliefs.

In third year, Talent did her 15-week internship at the University of Florida, working at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC). “I am passionate about plant science, so I applied for an internship in plant physiology to gain more experience in research and see how plants adapt to the changing environment. I also wanted to learn the use of the technical equipment that is used in this field of study.” Talent completed a graduation project called, “Effects of Greenhouse Plastic Colors on Growth and Chlorophyll Content of Corn and Tomato.” It proposes a method to help plants adapt to the changing climatic conditions.

Now I know what I really want to be in the future: an entrepreneur. – Talent

Talent wants to teach people in her community everything she has learned at EARTH. “Now I know what I really want to be in the future: an entrepreneur. After learning about value addition on agricultural products, I have many ideas for projects that I would want to implement in my country after graduation. I know that I can help my country to reduce food wastages by ensuring better preservation of their local products. I hope to employ myself and other local youths in my community. It’s a nice strategy to eradicate poverty and a way of ploughing back what I learned to my local community.”

Talent has exciting plans after graduation. She was selected to participate in the Fellowship Program, a novel initiative that has been created in partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and EARTH University to facilitate recent African graduates’ transition from Universities to launch purposeful careers in agriculture and agribusiness sectors in their countries of origin. As a Fellow, Talent will gain professional experience with a host partner in Zimbabwe, her home country; she is still waiting to hear where she will be placed to work for one year.

To her donors at the Mastercard Foundation, Talent would like to say, “I feel forever grateful for the opportunity provided to come down to Costa Rica and be part of a unique academic program in the world. Being at this school has opened my mind. I want to create my own employment, that’s my dream. I want to work hard so that my dream can come true.”

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