Our Dream: Hope Innovation Farms

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015

Our Dream: Hope Innovation Farms

We started planning for Hope Innovation Farms before Ebola hit, but now it’s even more important. The Hope Innovation Farm (HIF) initiative will empower vulnerable children in the Lungi region of Sierra Leone by implementing Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools (JFFLS) that function as agriculture innovation-drivers in cooperation with government, academic, business, and NGO sectors. The initiative will enhance agricultural research and extension services, capitalize on the agro-processing value chain, develop entrepreneurial motivation and skills, increase school enrollment, improve child nutrition and health, and promote gender equality.

In this four-year public/private partnership, twelve or more Junior Farmer Field and Life School (JFFLS) sites will operate in the Lungi region of Sierra Leone for the purpose of empowering vulnerable children, promoting and disseminating agricultural innovation through extension services and partnerships, and improving the food security and economic development of the target region. Project activities will be carried out by professional staff with guidance from a Leadership Team of key stakeholders under the leadership of Mariatu’s Hope, White Field Partners and other NGO, academic, and public partners. The initiative will emphasize community mobilization in the wake of disruptions caused by the Ebola crisis.

Through the JFFLS curriculum, children will learn agriculture and life skills in an experiential approach designed to help them understand complex issues and how they interconnect through a combination of experimental learning methods, learning by doing, and culturally sensitive methods. JFFLS empowers children economically, but also helps them to become responsible citizens with positive values regarding gender and human rights.
Hope Innovation Farms will serve as an innovation-driver by: 1) developing extension services; 2) gradually introducing new agriculture practices using national and international experts; 3) implementing demonstration plots at school farms to showcase results; 4) publicizing the initiative through a variety of channels; and 5) publishing reports. The initiative will culminate in an agriculture conference at the University of Makeni, which will include JFFLS graduates, for the purpose of sharing research and best practices throughout Sierra Leone.

Read the full Hope Innovation Farms Prospectus.

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