To increase knowledge, agricultural productivity, and income of smallholder farmers in East Africa and to remove additional barriers for youth and women to access economic opportunities.
The KadAfrica Experience is an 11-month curriculum that uses passion fruit farming as a vehicle to give out-of-school girls, ages 14-24, the opportunity to become economic drivers in their communities. Though KadAfrica provides a market for the girls who wish to continue farming passion fruit after the program ends, farming is difficult, and many of our girls wish to start other enterprises with the money they have saved from their harvests. Unfortunately, many of these micro-enterprises are unsuccessful as girls choose to begin businesses in oversaturated markets. KadAfrica wants to provide business ideas for refugees to start in their communities.
To develop the trauma management curriculum, we interviewed refugee and Ugandan beneficiaries about their experiences relating to trauma and mental health. Utilizing an evidence-based curriculum to teach the girls trauma management will increase Kad’s impact in helping girls achieve holistic health, wellness, and agency.
- Beneficiaries had minimal stigma about mental health. We found beneficiaries were most open about mental health challenges in a group setting, and were comfortable sharing their experiences in interviews; contrary to past research we found no stigma.
- Relationships play an important role in the mental health of beneficiaries. All Ugandan beneficiaries we interviewed reported having social support and nearly all of them preferred dealing with their emotions with others. Almost all of the Congolese refugees reported losing family members and reported no social support.
Trauma Management Curriculum.To increase healthy coping and reduce trauma symptoms for KadAfrica beneficiaries, we created a comprehensive curriculum guide based on our main research findings. It includes activities, tools, and information to be delivered by the cluster coaches to help promote mental health hygiene and coping skills for beneficiaries. This will help KadAfrica holistically increase the wellness, agency, and quality of life for their beneficiaries as they continue their microenterprises.