Leaving Sierra Leone in 2016, Samuel studied for his Masters in Agriculture and Development with a Marshal Papworth Fund scholarship at the University of Reading. Upon his return to Sierra Leone a year later, Samuel used his studies as the springboard to set up an agricultural company to help bring young people in Sierra Leone out of poverty through sustainable farming.
“My Marshal Papworth scholarship opened a window of opportunity to visit different agricultural production sites and factories as supplementary visits to my studies, which definitely inspired and challenged me to translate those examples into workable solutions in Sierra Leone.”
Following his studies and these experiences in the UK, Samuel has been able to set up The Nedemiah Development Project to address chronic poverty in Sierra Leone and the surrounding countries. “Combining skills development, job creation, agricultural production, processing and marketing, and entrepreneurial development to alleviate extreme poverty, create wealth, reduce unemployment and promote education, the organisation is designed to support 1,000 young people and their families to get out of poverty,” explains Samuel.
Under the project, participants have been able to significantly expand production of a wide variety of crops including cassava, ginger, rice, coco yam, sorghum, maize, potatoes and soya beans.
With three key aspects (agriculture, skills, entrepreneurship) the project covers everything from cassava and chicken production, through to computer skills and water sourcing, whilst teaching young people how to set up and run a business.
Returning to Sierra Leone and his job immediately after graduating, Samuel has also seen development in his personal employment too: “Before the scholarship my analytical skills, critical thinking and writing skills were limited. However, following the course I have taken charge of advanced analysis, critical thinking and writing in my office and have a promotion on the way.”
Tom Arthey, chairman of the Marshal Papworth Fund, an agricultural development charity managed by the East of England Agricultural Society, said: “It is great to hear that Samuel has put his Marshal Papworth scholarship to such good use, improving not only his personal situation through increased responsibilities in work, but also in setting up an enterprise that will help 1,000 young people in Sierra Leone find employment and leave poverty through sustainable agriculture. This is truly taking on board our motto of ‘growing out of hunger’ and we can’t wait to hear the next update from Samuel!”
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