Since inception, LEAD Transformation Initiative has been working with youths in rural and urban communities of Nigeria challenging them with various opportunities in the agricultural value chains to ensure reduction in the youth unemployment in Nigeria. Our impact stories cut across youths and rural dwellers. In this section, this is what some of our trained youths over the years have to say:
Before the boot camp I never understood why the ventures I began either came to a halt or wasn’t as successful as expected. But after the training and mentorship on Problem analysis to Project development I have learnt never to enter into business without understanding the problem I want to solve.
My mind was broken up to understand that when Ideas come, I shouldn’t run, but dig deep and research so as not to turn out shallow in relating my project to the global community.
Now I understand the reason why some of the ventures I attempted came to a standstill at some point. I can now return to my businesses and projects to do it better. The tools I have been taught in the Bootcamp will be very useful in growing my businesses and will help build new and sustainable projects aligned with the United Nations Sustainable development goals.
Before the Sustainable Development Bootcamp, I had a lot of plans to achieve certain goals in business and social impact. Though I had plans, I didn’t have the means in form of the physical and knowledge resource required to execute them effectively. The bootcamp training became the solution I needed by providing guidance through knowledge in answering the question WHAT, WHY, WHEN, WHO, & HOW. I plan to incubate on the training and put the things learnt to work in executing a core project in Edu-Tech in the next 10 weeks.
I was into craft before enrolling into the boot camp. I was zealous about it but lack structure and fundamental principles that can make the businesses relevant.
I therefore enrolled for the sustainable development bootcamp. The knowledge gained from boot camp has helped brood on my craft idea and it has become a vision for me. It has given me a sense of direction on how to start and whom to work with. I am currently on a project with a secondary school and a primary school and still look forward to more.
One of the things boot camp has done was to expose me to agricultural opportunities e.g transportation and distribution. If I am given the capital, I’ll like to be a middle man in conveying the farm produce from the producers to the retailers
Before the boot camp, I was just an ordinary person who has no precise purpose and what I want to achieve.
Participating in the boot camp open my eyes to see that you can’t start a business without some deep research, it will eventually fold up. I get to know that people have needs and I can be needed with what I have. Also for every problem I can feel or see that there is a solution that I can offer. I also get to know more on some hands-on training like bee keeping, snail farming, tomato farming, vegetable farming and so on. From what I’ve learnt in the boot camp, I want to start my own vegetable farm and have some bee hives for honey production.
Before boot camp, I was an all talk person, only wishes, no achievement; only hustle, no result. I noticed most things I started usually failed. I also noticed that once the first excitement of starting something weans, I get toted of doing.
During the boot camp, I began to understand one of the likely problems I have– lack of knowledge. I began to understand that reasons why my businesses failed. I understood how digging both deep and wide helps in making both the person and the product coming forth unique.
With everything learnt from the camp, I can confidently execute any idea or project.
I’ve always wondered why start-up businesses close down, before they break even. Even after they do break even, they barely make it to 5years.
This singular reason scares me. This was my state before the boot camp.
The bootcamp training was able to help me understand the essence of problem analysis for any startup.
I learnt and understand the project analysis tools, from which I began to ask myself questions like: why is my project needed, who needs my project and if the project was sustainable or not.
Also, the training gave me the opportunity to question my true essence.
The tools that I have acquire during this training will help me in building sustainable ventures.
I didn’t even know what to expect but I knew it had so much for me.
The bootcamp broke the box I had myself in and equipped me with thinking tools. I learnt problem solving skills and project development. Sustainability was not left out also.
I can now confidently start my own business and make it sustainable.
I heard a lot of business ideas in mind but I had little or no understanding on how to
turn any into sustainable business or project.
One of my greatest fear is how to compete for funding from available grant opportunities and win.
Participating in the bootcamp equipped me with the tools needed to present my business/ideas from its pain point after thorough problem analysis.
I can now confidently approach funding opportunities for my ideas/businesses.
I used to be very confused on what to do. During the course of the Sustainable Development Bootcamp, I got clarity on what I wanted to do and how to go about it. I was able to learn practically Tomatoes farming, Fishery among others.
As a result of the knowledge gained, I can now confidently set up and manage tomatoes plantation.
With the basic practical knowledge on catfish production, I will undergo incubation on fish breeding and fish formulation.
I had dreams and aspirations that I wanted to achieve. But I lacked the knowledge and experience to make it work out right. Participating in the Bootcamp has made me understand how to turn an idea into a profitable business and has shown me how to learn from other people’s mistakes.
The camp made me see the essence of quality research and the role it plays in making creating sustainable business.
More than just studying agriculture for certificate, I’ve now learnt how to make it profitable and would apply this in running my agribusiness.
I had always thought that skills were enough to create a profitable business. However, the frustration that comes with not being able to achieve plans, goals and aspirations was much so that I had quit on several occasions.
Participating in the sustainable development boot camp taught me about problem analysis and how to turn my ideas into results.
Everything I learnt has allowed me to create a problem around my skill and I will be setting up my studio to further make productions that will be focused on lending voices and creating awareness towards social injustice and sexual based violence and abuse.
My six months training at Lead Transformation Initiative will be a period to always reference in my life. Before I joined, I was helpless, there are lots of things I desire to do but no one could give clear structure about my dreams. The internship period helped me to think through, and equipped me with tools for analysis of the ideas and the step by step incubation process to nature them till fully mature into project. The training exposed me to new businesses and trained me on how to manage those business profitably. The training made me understand the values in what I have passed through (experience) which made me conceive a venture STOMACH FIT. Stomach Fit will be into value addition of raw food to make cooking easier for busy/working class people. This will reduce consumption of junk foods that is presently causing different sickness. This initiative will help my community in achieving SDG 1, 2, 3 and 12.
500 lvl student of Agric Extension & Communication,
Federal University of Technology Akure
Before my internship placement at Lead Transformation Initiative (LTI), I was an ordinary person without any clarity on what the future holds. L.E.A.D transformation initiative exposed me to a future that I’ve never thought of and I doubt if that could ever cross my mind.
Within my six months internship period, I was able to learn soft skills such as team building, problem solving, project development and global opportunities. I was also opportuned to learn practical skills in agriculture such as Bee keeping, Agroforestry, Seedling Production, Poultry, Crop Production and field experience in marketing of farm produce. For the first time in my life, I experienced what typical rural farmers are facing daily in terms of pricing of agro-commodities. This market experience set me up in helping the rural farmers overcome the challenges of low return from their hard labour.
I have been putting all I learnt at LTI into rehearsal. Currently I am running a small-scale vegetable farm to test the waters before lunching out on a big scale after school.
With the experiences garnered at LTI, I see myself becoming a leader and a teacher with my start-up brand Agro-Sustainability Initiative, which shall inspire and empower young people into agriculture. I’ve started teaching and equipping people; alongside building a team of like-minded to develop this project.
A big thanks to LTI for taking and setting me on this journey.
I was a normal student with only thought of finishing my BSc., go for MSc if possible, marry and have children. LTI completely changed my world view!
At LTI, I was taken through series of trainings which renewed my mind and strengthen my skills. I went through problem analysis which equipped me with tools to navigate complexity and strategically arrive at solution, not just at solutions but marketable solutions stemming from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Through the Business and Market Development training modules, my business management capabilities got furnished which I can now apply. I got exposure to another vista of Agriculture and Climate Change where I learnt in theory and practice. I was trained on Communication, Agroforestry, Snailry, Poultry production, Bee Keeping and crop production. I also had the opportunity to try my hands out on different developmental projects in the urban and rural communities.
As the Director used to say “whatever you see that infuriates you, the better version is in you. Bring it out!” My rural experience during my internship at LTI exposed me to the poor hygiene and sanitation in the rural space which made me to concept project KLAER (Keep Loos Away from Everyone Reach). KLAER will work at ensuring availability of eco-friendly toilet facilities in the rural and urban spaces which will be my own quota towards the actualization of SDG 3 (Good health and well being) and 13 (Climate Action).
Thank you LTI for giving me reason to live beyond having certificates and bearing children.
Kehinde Janet Ola-Adeniyi,
500 lvl student, Agric Economics & Extension,
Ekiti State University
My experience at LEAD TRANSFORMATION INITIATIVE was a wow!
The journey has been really great and worthwhile so fa. Actually, I came into this organization just to learn more about the practical aspect of agriculture but learning that accompanied it was mind shifting. I came in as an undergraduate who was scared of life after school because I have no clue of what the world holds after graduation. As an intern at LTI, I was taken through the transformation training modules of the organization called Idea Spark. Each modules of Idea Spark changed my orientation and gave me confidence about life after school. I realized that there are countless opportunity waiting for me outside., The six months internship encouraged me to start testing the waters before I leave school, which I started even before I complete the six months. In addition to this, I was struck by a say during my stay at LTI “IF YOU CANNOT EARN IT YOU DON’T DESERVE IT” this made me made me further determined to add value to myself exchange and exchange it for money so that I can be less dependent. Right now, I have I have a side business from which I can take responsibilities without solemnly depending on my parents.
In conclusion, I am putting the practical agricultural knowledge, Business development knowledge, Market development knowledge and team working skills gained at LTI into action. I don’t want to join the long queue of unemployment in Nigeria, I am therefore starting my own agribusiness ventures with some of my colleagues. The venture will address SDG 1, 2and 5.
Toyosi Oluwafunmilola Ajayi,
A 500 level Student of Agricultural Science,
Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti
I was but a student who was only dependent on academic grades to be successful in life.
LEAD has however given me a broader scope about life. I was exposed to tools for developing myself as an individual, problems identification, analysis and creation of marketable solutions. Climate Agriculture, being one of the tools at LEAD, gave me the practical skills and climate change. With all these experiences I am able to come up with a project which supports agroecology and landscape restoration. This will help in addressing Climate Change and fast track the efforts of my community towards the actualization of SDGs 1 (no poverty), 2 (no hunger), 13 (Climate Action) and 15 (Life on land). In the future, this project will reach secondary school students and get them informed on benefits of agriculture its impact in our future also promote agroecology.
500 Lvl student of Agric Communication & Extension
Federal University of Technology Akure
In years past, I have discovered that school isn’t giving me enough to quench my hunger for more knowledge, I craved for more, I wanted to experience and learn more. Not getting this made me look down on my course of study and I told myself I wasn’t going to work with it.
My internship placement at LTI where exposed me to more depth on my course of study (agric extension and communication) and opportunities therein. During this period, I learnt problem analysis, project development, practical agriculture and opportunity to participate in different developmental projects.
Through this experience, I was able to craft out a project of my own along the SDGs.
Prosper Adeola Adebiyi
500 lvl student of Agric Extension and Communication
Federal University of Technology Akure.
Before I started as an intern with Lead Transformation Initiative, I never knew anything about business plan development, problem analysis, practical agriculture and how to link marketing skills into running of businesses.
My first one month was like a spinning Period I could hardly talk normal. I was trained to understand agroforestry as a tool to address varying societal problems: climate change, soil fertility, food security among others.
My shoe making business got redefined as a result of the exposure LTI gave to me to learn from leaders in the industry. LTI as worked on my self-esteem ang raised my confidence level to apply what I leant during the 6 months period.
I am combining my shoe making skill with agric extension and communication to create additional value chain stream in the agro-industry.
500 lvl student of Agric Extension & Communication,
Federal University of Technology Akure
I was in distressed thinking about what I am going to do when I graduate. The current reality of unemployment in Nigeria made be trouble the more. However, my six months internship at LTI has made me realized the enormous opportunities around me and prepared me to position myself for the opportunities. During one of the trainings, this say surface “If you want a space in the territory, solve a problem in the territory”. And this has been my motto since that time.
LEAD gave me opportunity to make use of my strength, time and ability to get a better future. LEAD taught me how to manage my time, be productive, a value to the world and a problem solver. I got to know how to see opportunities in challenges around and turn them to solutions.
I will say, I have confidence in myself and I am ready to take my space.
500 lvl student of Agric. Extension & Communication
Federal University of Technology Akure
My internship period was an interesting period of my life that I will love to always remember. I was opened up to another knowledge in agriculture. The container farming, bee keeping, production of organic fertilizers and plant enhancers was my high points of the training which am going to implement on my father’s farm
My period of internship at LEAD Transformation Initiative has opened me to a new way in farming where crops and trees are mutually benefiting each other and also replenishing the soil. I also learnt the importance of
mulching to reduce water loss from the soil and to protect the soil microorganisms. I hope to apply the lessons
learnt on my own farm”
Federal College of Agriculture Akure
My stay at LEAD Transformation Initiative was educative all through. I was first re-aligned on the opportunities in the agricultural sector, its potential to create job for me and make me leave the queue of unemployment through the idea spark program. This was an appetizer that opened my mind to learning the practical HOW. The practical how include#Agroforestry—a sustainable approach to farming which is quite different from the style of farming I have been exposed to, vertical farming, among others. This internship period also afford me the opportunity of getting involved in farm management activities with new exposure”
As for me I gained a lots of knowledge during my period of SIWES attachment at LEAD Transformation Initiative
Container farming, mulching, irrigation set up,
poultry management and seedling production
was all in all for me. I also enjoyed my stay in
the rural community of #Mariwo, using
the power tiller to help the rural farmers prepare
their land prior to planting and using of the thread pump for irrigation on farm. My special
appreciation goes to the entire LTI team for their contribution in my development”
During my #SIWES at LEAD Transformation Initiative, I learnt how to conserve available water in the soil for plant growth and microbes development through mulching practice, Honey production, Container farming, seedling production and the value chains. LEAD Transformation Initiative gave me a new definition of agriculture which is totally different from what have experienced. I will replicate all these lessons after school”
The time spent at LEAD Transformation Initiative gave me the opportunity to learn the trends in the agricultural sector. From the old ways of farming to the latest ones. I learnt a system that allows tree, crops and insect grow together called #agroforestry, I understood the importance of mulching, an integral practice in farming especially dry season farming, container farming among others. As an Engineering student, I was privileged to handle the power tilling machine both in operation and maintenance which gave me an insight into how small tools can be developed for agricultural”
My joining LEAD initiative came as a result of a setback in my academics (which was not my expectation). But I can boldly say “IT WAS A SETBACK FOR A BETTER COME-BACK”
I was able to understand the PROFITS of the value chains in agriculture based on hands-on training. I understood more that Agriculture is a PROFESSION OF HOPE. Better interrelationship with people. Broke the limited mind-set I once had for the blind. Having a CORE understanding on problem analysis. Understanding the power of THINKING.
(Blind but energetic)
Lead transformation initiatives training have show me and lead me into depth research, and also generate new innovative mind. Hence, the training motivate my thinking direction towards any issues around my community and give me ways of solving the issues. Also the training has shown me to people that lead to destiny expression and give stories that are encouraging and motivate destiny.
Even keep me to working on the farm effectively and have the mind to practice agriculture. This leads to my vision, agricsport with the blind.
I want to raise healthy blind youths planting and producing food for their community.
Have always been scared about the possibility of my dream. There is no clarity of route that link my present to that desired future. I was like a man going to place for the first time without knowing where and how to go, to him every route will seems possible until he tries it. The timely intervention of LEAD *TRANSFORMATION INITIATIVE* have saved me energy and resources of trying before knowing the right route. The journey ahead is still far though, but the clarity is now certain. Have been equipped with the necessary tools to explore opportunities and refine same.
My vision in life is to be financially free and this will be achieved by enriching lives through value addition to various agricultural value chains and sustainable projects
WHAT THE TRAINING HAS DONE TO ME
Before the commencement of this program, I never have any technique on how to approach problems to ensure a tangible solution.
In the course of this training I can now approach community problems in a professional way by the problem statement and the root causes, it has broaden my insight on the farm and on research and making me independent.
With the process of this training I have been able to envisioned a waste free campus producing healthy graduates.
I am hereby on a mission to go to campuses to collect, sort and convert biodegradable waste to organic manure and supply schools with biogas electricity to aid research.
Prior to my opportunistic encounter with Lead Initiative, I was encumbered with lots of projects which won’t make a meaningful impact as well as be a source of livelihood to me.
In the course of these training, I have been able to conceptualised clear problem statement that meet the basic needs of man.
It is a unique training which enables me to self-educate, re-orientate, transform, build confidence, high self-esteem in my worthiness to the society and gives me a platform to live out my dreams.
My transforming mind had made me to envision “a nation where agricultural graduate are employable producing sufficient and healthy food for their populace”
Health of humanity has been an issue of personal concern for me. This burden led me to follow a masters degree in environmental biology and public health.
Lead transformation initiative has enabled me to realise that when we invest in agriculture, the impact goes beyond the farm.
Therefore, I am on a mission to remotely monitor and encourage good health amongst rural farmers even as I help them to connect with the tools and knowledge they need to feed themselves thus addressing the root cause of poverty, hunger and Ill health.