Luc’s story

Before I started training at the YMCA I did not have much hope for my future as I’d dropped out of school because of an eye problem. I was sad about this as I had always hoped to become an accountant.

There are six of us – my mother and five children. My father abandoned us when we were young. All of my brothers and sisters a have moved away, so it is my responsibility to look after my mother.

I participated in a YMCA course in animal rearing in September 2009. I chose this course as I had some previous experience with farming. I used to help my mother to cultivate crops to feed the family but we did not make enough to sell.

When I finished my training, I decided that I wanted to rear pigs as my grandfather had also done this. It is also profitable, you can make money fast. A pig is like a bank – it’s a piggy bank!

Before I started, I did some research such as where was the best place to put the pigsty and created a business plan. I found that there were only five people in my community who were rearing pigs, so there was definitely an opportunity for me.

After doing this, I felt ready to start my business, and I bought food, materials and four pigs to start. I have not yet sold them as I am waiting until they are bigger, when it is more profitable to sell them. I will be able to get $207.85 per pig. I will not sell them all though, but use some to breed and make more piglets so that I have a sustainable business.

I am very grateful to the YMCA for giving me this opportunity. They have helped to give me all I have today. I feel good now that I have a future. I just hope to now have some financial security and not worry about where my next meal will be coming from.

Being part of the YMCA inspired me to help other young people so I trained to be a peer educator. Since I’ve started I’ve helped raise awareness in my community about reproductive health and the damaging effects of drugs on young people. I’ve also started training other peer educators 0 It feels good to be sharing my knowledge with others and help make a bigger impact. While I know one day this project will finish, for me this work will always continue.

“Before I started training at the YMCA I did not have much hope for my future…I am very grateful to the YMCA for giving me this opportunity, they have helped to give me all I have today.”

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