HPI Agricultural Apprentice Centre
and Experimental Farm
In many African nations natural resources remain untapped. Most frequently, we associate a natural resource to be the kinds of commodities like gold, silver, precious stones, oil, or lumber. HPI is more concerned about another very precious natural resource—the human kind.
When it is all said and done, much of HPI’s attention is spent on our efforts to develop the human component.
The majority of HPI activities falls into either:
(1) agricultural related economy growing activities or,
(2) quality education, leadership training and character development activities.
At the Agricultural Apprentice Centre and Experimental Farm (AAC) these are interrelated.
The HPI AAC is located in the Obbo region of South Sudan and is about 100 miles south east of the capital city of Juba. 250 acres of land adjacent to the River Ayii has been granted by the Village Elders to HPI to develop the Agricultural Apprenticeship Centre and Experimental Farm.
There are no classrooms with tables and chairs; it is simply acres of learning opportunities being nurtured with a lot of hard labour. The local village farmers have warmly embraced the idea that an international charity has chosen their village to be it’s headquarters in South Sudan. Hope and enthusiasm has replaced gloom and despair.
Forty acres has been cleared of grass and brush, the soil has been turned, crops have been grown and hungry families have been fed. It’s a small and modest beginning, but the local farmers rejoice.
The people of the Obbo region desire change. They wish to modernize their primitive farming methods and are seeking assistance from groups like HPI to assist them in finding solutions to make the transition.
The Experimental Farm will mostly focus upon developing improved cropping methods and upon introducing additional food group varieties. Plants exhibiting the strongest characteristics will be cultivated for seed stock production to be provided firstly to the farmers of the Obbo region, and then to other interested neighbouring groups. The primary focus of the AAC will be to teach technical skills—agricultural for most part—but be diverse enough to include a wide variety of learning opportunities.
Initially, most of the programs offered will be tailored to meet the immediate needs and life experiences of the local people. Recognizing the current lack of necessary resources and expertise required to meet many of the teaching needs at the AAC, Humanity’s Promise has sought help from the international educational community.
HPI felt it was imperative to establish an alliance with an organization that could provide a learning experience within the agricultural industry. Humanity’s Promise found that alliance with Kinneret College in Israel. Kinneret College will provide hands-on learning opportunities for ten of the brightest and most agriculturally minded young farmers from the Obbo Region.
While in Israel, they will be given extensive agricultural training in a variety of disciplines. When the students complete the 11 month program, they will return to their homes in South Sudan. Humanity’s Promise will then seek to match the graduate’s interests and to expand the program with an employment opportunity with the HPI team. It is expected that those graduates will work with the HPI team to implement a transformation of the economy in the Obbo Region and to ultimately reach out to neighbouring areas.