Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) and leading coffee business SMIT&DORLAS, announce the start of a two-year partnership with a project in Western Honduras. The “Youth as Change Agents Developing Resilient Communities” project will focus on developing young farmers to build local structures and improve climate adaptability.
The project began in August 2022 in Ocotepeque, Honduras. It will benefit 300 smallholder farmers, focusing on younger generations, who will participate in specialised training to become “Climate Pioneers” to lead and champion climate action in their local communities. The project will focus on two core components:
Youth Social and Economic Empowerment
Young farmers will develop the self-confidence and skillsets required to influence, make informed decisions, and act as agents of change in the development of climate-smart regions. Creating continuous learning cycles will promote sustainable resource management and grow entrepreneurship pathways, contributing to economic growth and improved resiliency.
Activities include workshops on self-confidence, life skills, training on climate-smart agriculture, and technical assistance in establishing entrepreneurship among young farmers. The Climate Pioneer Methodology combines youth and climate approaches, developing the capabilities of young farmers to facilitate, promote, and activate climate actions in communities and organisations. As younger generations hone their skills, they will learn how to teach and transfer knowledge to ensure a lasting impact for future generations.
Building Inclusive Farmer Organisations
Two farmer organisations will strengthen their roles as community development structures to improve the portfolio and quality of services offered. These will include increased market participation, access to inclusive financing, and improved coffee quality while promoting opportunities for their members.
Activities will focus on creating and implementing inclusive organisational strategies that promote the active participation of young farmers and women as members and in leadership positions – this includes the development of internal working committees to guide and oversee inclusive actions and technical assistance.
Cultivating welcoming spaces for young farmers leverage intergenerational collaboration. It creates positive reinforcing cycles that engage younger generations with opportunities and benefits while addressing farmer organisations’ needs.
Pablo Ruiz, Executive Director of HRNS in Central America comments: “Our partnership with SMIT&DORLAS will significantly benefit rural communities. Together, we’re investing in cultivating agronomic and climate-smart agricultural knowledge, growing income-generating opportunities, and strengthening farmer organisations to develop them as rural development hubs in the region”.
“For SMIT&DORLAS, it’s fantastic to have a 200-year history, but we should prepare for the next 200 years. We must adapt to the climate for generations to come”, says Mark Duursma, Marketing Manager SMIT&DORLAS. “We believe that investing in Youth and Climate is the perfect combination and will create the right impact – coffee farming should be of interest to everyone”. During the partnership, SMIT&DORLAS in strong alignment with HRNS, will update on a regular base in the impact of this project and give insights on the results.
About Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS)
Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) is an independent foundation working with smallholder families in coffee regions and youth in Germany. We believe that only strong future generations around the globe can shape a liveable world.
HRNS is implementing projects in seven countries worldwide focusing on the livelihood situation of smallholder families with a holistic approach in the areas of youth, climate change, family business, organizational development, and gender. This contributes to prospering smallholder families, strong future generations, employment and employability, attractive rural communities and landscapes worth living in.
We see youth as drivers of change globally and in Germany. Since its foundation in 2005, HRNS reached more than 330.000 smallholder families in 18 countries. In Germany HRNS is supporting more then 20 organizations focusing on the integration of migrated youth.