On the 21st of November, one month after the YOUCA action day, Rikolto and YOUCA launched a new collaboration to support and encourage a new Generation of young food entrepreneurs to drive change towards a more sustainable and just food system.
The feeling of insecurity engendered by the climate crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic, rising unemployment rates and economic instability is common to young people worldwide, albeit to varying degrees. Also common to them is their compelling need to do something about it and bring positive changes to society and to their life. Rikolto and YOUCA have decided to bet on this enormous potential for innovation, and have partnered together on several projects supporting youth since 2009.
YOUCA, YOUth for Change and Action - is a youth organisation that encourages young people to work together towards a sustainable and just society. They raise young people’s awareness of important social challenges, support their engagement, and organise national and international encounters. Young people are at the helm of the organisation!
On YOUCA Action Day more than 15,000 young people from Flanders and Brussels commit themselves for one day to work for companies, organisations, public institutions or private individuals. Why? The “salary” earned on that day goes to projects supporting young people worldwide who are engaged towards achieving a just and sustainable society. For and by young people: that's what YOUCA stands for! On the 20th of October 2022, YOUCA will organise a YOUCA Action Day to support Rikolto’s Generation food project!
"Generation Food incubators aim to connect and empower rural and urban youth, both men & women, to be change agents and to lead by example through entrepreneurship in the food sector to contribute to a sustainable food system in their city."
Over the next two years, Rikolto will accompany youngsters from Mbale (Uganda), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and Quito (Ecuador) to turn their innovative ideas into inclusive business plans. One of the lessons learned from the work done in Belgium and Tanzania is that young people have viable food business ideas, but without the right opportunities, they tend to give up. The purpose of the Generation Food programme is to fill this gap through the development of a business incubator that will:
*The #FeedTheFuture hashtag was chosen by the YOUCA team to promote this initiative
Thanks to the collaboration with partners of different backgrounds, Rikolto aims to connect young entrepreneurs with national and international networks with which Rikolto already cooperates. We strongly believe that young people should be involved in decision-making processes, especially at policy level, and bring their fresh ideas and new perspectives to the discussion table.
Generation Food is one of the 5 flagships of Rikolto's international Food Smart Cities programme. In cities worldwide, including Arusha, Leuven, Quito and Ouagadougou, Rikolto catalyses collective action among local food system actors to make urban food environments and food supply chains more sustainable and inclusive. Working closely with local authorities is an opportunity to influence and participate in the definition of local policies and their translation into concrete actions on the ground.
Thank you YOUCA for believing in Generation Food!