There are about 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 – the largest youth population ever. Over the next year alone an estimated 118 million youth will turn 18. This age can be an exciting turning point from youth into independent adult; however, it also means a transition into uncharted territory for many young people. Some will begin their university studies, some will start a trade, and others may be encouraged into military service (as mandated in over 70 countries). While agriculture is the primary livelihood for 65% of adults with low incomes, many youth in rural areas are not equipped or uninterested in pursuing a life in farming. From the rural farm areas of Ohio to the desert outposts of Oman, rural youth often struggle to find a trajectory will lead to a livelihood with a reliable, year-round income.
Many youth face limited opportunities
Nearly eighty-five percent of young adults are from low-income countries. There is a shortage of formal employment opportunities, particularly for youth in rural areas. Many young people rely on taking odd jobs here, but they are unpredictable and do not provide training or adequate financing. That’s where Coffee Kids comes in.
Entrepreneurship training for rural youth
Coffee Kids is on the ground in remote, rural coffee-growing towns and villages. We offer our Rural Business Workshops which include training, mentorship, and seed capital leading youth to create a dream and a plan for their future. Our students recognize the potential of pursuing coffee growing, some by inheriting their parent’s farms, as a means to provide economic opportunity. They have told us that they face challenges caused by climate change, market volatility, and access to land. They have shared their hopes and aspirations with us to become self-reliant entrepreneurs with businesses that provide steady, year round-income.
The future of coffee
As an organization that engages the coffee sector, we believe that the future of coffee begins with young farmers. We work with local communities to provide relevant business skills training by local trainers who understand the community. We also provide start-up capital to put our students’ ideas into action. But our support doesn’t stop there; we also provide long-term mentorship to our students to improve their chance of success. After all, without farmers, there is no coffee!