Dear YEF Supporter,
We sincerely hope that you are keeping well. It is our privilege to send to you news from Youth Education Farms in our March 2013 newsletter.
To touch on where we left off, some new and exciting YEF advancements in both Swaziland and Vancouver have taken place recently.
We are extremely pleased to announce the completion and opening of our first retail store owned and operated by YEF in Buhleni, Swaziland-The Buhleni YEF Store. Official discussions of the planning of the YEF retail store were released at the 3rd Annual YEF Fundraiser in June 2012. Since then we have been hard at work planning and constructing this next project which will provide the town of Buhleni with locally grown and raised produce and livestock (chicken, turkey, beef, and pork are offered). The store will allow YEF to attract walk-in customers to purchase our agricultural and retail products, all aimed at producing profits to pay for the tuitions of additional children in our program. It is equipped with a modern refrigeration system, an electronic point of sale system, a soft serve ice-cream machine (for those hot Swazi days!), a soft drink selection, and room to grow into for the future sale of other products.
Within its first 3 years of operation, we expect this store to support the annual tuitions of approximately 55 children.
On other fronts, the YEF chicken distribution business is bustling as always, the two crop farms are healthy and continually growing produce and producing jobs for the local community, and the new YEF Piggery has successfully been operating for 6 months, with a new rotation of baby pigs to be born in the next few weeks. Plans are in motion to expand our piggery; as once again supply cannot keep up with demand.
On the Vancouver side of things, the YEF team was invited to speak at West Point Grey Academy on Feb 28th as part of an official independently organized TED Talk focused on inspirational leadership. Topics discussed included the concept and success of YEF as well as our future goals for the organization.
On March 19th, Brandon Mari and Tracy Lee- The head of Counseling, Guidance, and the Debate and Model UN coach for West Point Grey Academy will be heading to Swaziland. Tracy Lee is a highly accredited academic professional with a Masters in Education and a myriad of experience of working with youth.
The two arrive in Swaziland on March 22nd and will partake in a 6 day assignment of personally meeting the latest tuition assisted YEF students, holding specialized YEF motivational/entrepreneurial and health focused classes, and also working in local schools to better assess the individual cases of Swazi youth affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis. The fundamental goal of Tracy’s trip is to understand and document how YEF may use its resources in the most effective manner in preparing the YEF Educational Course, and to help inspire other Vancouverites about YEF’s work.
Following Tracy’s Departure on Match 28th, Brandon will be met by Riley Mari in Swaziland where the two will assess and analyze current YEF operations, meet and connect with critical YEF contacts in Swaziland, and also help select the next group of children to be added to our tuition assistance program for 2013, which is projected to at least double our current number of 38 students.
In terms of fundraising endeavors in Vancouver, YEF would like to officially announce that we will be hosting our 4th Annual Fundraiser at Birks Jewelers on June 14th, 2013. Plans are in motion for the fundraiser, and it looks to be the best one yet. Bash and Fete, one of Vancouver’s leading event organizers will be delivering an unbelievable night for all of those in attendance-www.bashandfete.com. If the past is any indication of the future, we can expect to sell well over 300 tickets to the next fundraiser.
Tickets can be purchased at: http://youtheducationfarms.com/4th-annual-fundraiser-june-14th/
Until our next newsletter, may you be encouraged in knowing that your support positively impacts a child’s life and affords them opportunities that we, in our society, take for granted.
Like always we are extremely proud of our kids, our team in Swaziland and their achievements, and the overall growth seen in our first target community, Herefords Swaziland.
We look forward to keeping you updated as we continue to progress.
Please keep a close eye on our social media pages, including our website and Facebook page: www.facebook.com/YouthEducationFarms for daily updates from Brandon Mari on his 2013 YEF operational visit. Photos, and YEF related information will be uploaded daily.
The YEF Team