English (en) | Change Language
By: Faith Juma
Published: 2024-01-25

EAN12 Figure 8

Figure 8. ECHO Interns preparing seeds for planting in the tree nursery. Source: ECHO East Africa Staff

In 2021, (through a Labor Force Survey), the Tanzanian government discovered that about 900,000 youth enter the job market annually to compete for less than 100,000 job opportunities. With the design of the nation’s current education system, a typical post-grad youth in Tanzania has neither capital, nor entrepreneurship skills to establish their business, nor employable skills to enhance their marketability in the workplace. Internship programs come in response to this predicament; being a powerful tool for providing hands-on experience and developing skills that will help the next generation solve pressing challenges, including unemployment

ECHO trains energetic, highly motivated youth chance to gain hands-on experience in sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and environmental conservation; through a three-month to one-year internship program. Allowing them to dive deep and understand the complexities facing local farmers on the field and develop a passion for serving them. A cause close to the heart of ECHO that brings it closer to its purpose of providing “hope against hunger”.

Throughout the year, ECHO is filled with innovative youths from different academic backgrounds who are either College/University students doing internships, volunteering, or continuing students sent from university for a practical field training program. ECHO has become a hub of youth passionate about agriculture, appropriate technologies, and environmental restoration ready to develop critical skills that will contribute to resilient and sustainable food systems. 

Several benefits are mentioned by the youth themselves regarding the internship program that ECHO provides, including skill development, networking, practical experience, changed perception towards agriculture, spiritual growth, and employment opportunities inside and outside ECHO.

EAN12 Figure 9 correct

Figure 9. ECHO Interns harvesting lablab seeds (green manure cover crop). Source: ECHO East Africa Staff

Hundreds of youths from different cultural and academic backgrounds have been through ECHO’s internship program since its establishment in the year 2012.  There are many ECHO Intern success stories, and a few are highlighted in the link above to show the impact internship programs have had in transforming lives and building a better future. Additionally, many of their stories are included in our monthly reports, celebrating the ways these hard-working individuals have helped ensure and promote ECHO’s mission and goal. 

In their own words; 

The most memorable part about my time at ECHO is the facilitation of the perennial vegetable training in which I got involved, I got to learn different skills and gained more knowledge & experience. I plan on sharing the knowledge with my community
Einoth Justin (ECHO Intern 2020)

I had less than a month as an intern but, was blessed to attend 5 different pieces of training at ECHO, about Biogas, contour making, conservation agriculture and GMOs and chicken production and 2 conferences. I will remember the ECHO internship as a tool that has sharpened my professional life.
Goodluck Mushi (ECHO intern, 2020)

I joined the ECHO internship program because I wanted to expand and put into practice the knowledge I had in agriculture and environmental conservation; ECHO was the right place to be. I plan to start my own business in agriculture and serve farmers with the skills I have gained from ECHO
Sephania Kalangali (ECHO Intern 2019)

For more information about the ECHO internship and volunteer program, please contact Charles Bonaventure Shirima | ECHO Technical Advisor | email address: cbonaventure@echocommunity.org  phone contact: +255754992079.