Tackling the UN SDGs through Soja production and its transformations

Who am I?

I’m Leonidas Nzigamasabo, a young Leader Engineer by qualification and a young Activist, social entrepreneur and changemaker in Youth Organizations by passion.I have five years of experience working directly with communities focusing on social entrepreneurship, education of pupils, youth management through out communities grouping and youth unemployment. I’m actually a Volunteer in a community of changemakers World Merit as Country Representative in Burundi.

In the past, I worked with different Organizations like an Africa Social Innovation Incubator Innova Group as Operations Director , Trainer and Coach in NGO PARJE on Business Plan writing, Financial Education and Leadership Management, I frequently traveled to the Rural communities (Youth unemployment) of Burundi conducting meetings, Events, Workshops, Projects, with the Program of youth sensitizing to get out the unemployment through self-employment (entrepreneurship), leadership, volunteer and responsible citizenship.I’m a volunteer also in NGO ASASS .

This has enabled me to identify with and analyzed the challenges of education and livelihood in the Grassroots communities .

Furthermore, I’m a UN SDG Global Talent under its UNLEASH SDG Innovation Lab Program . I was been accepted as one of the top 1,000 SDGs Talents out of a pool of over 10,000 applicants Global, through an online application process. I’m expected to travel to Copenhagen, Denmark for an immersive 9 days of co-creation and problem-solving along with not only 1,000 global top talents, but also a high number of cutting-edge companies, NGOs, government agencies, investors and foundations ready to support our SDGs Focal Areas.

What’s about my initiative during UNLEASH Innovation Lab 2017?

As changemaker who is working to raise awareness on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, it’s necessary to think and to build solutions relative to the UN SDGs in order to end poverty, hunger and achieve food security by improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture,…and then make those goals a reality in Burundi. That’s why I’m initiating the “ Soja production and transformation into high quality nutritive flour and milk integrated to Environmental protection in Burundi “ Project.
 The project will be implemented in four terms:

1. The first one will concern the training of project beneficiaries under themes centered on agriculture modernization, especially soja cultivation , advantages of this project for the target beneficiaries and its management;
2. The second will concern programs implementation, it means soja cultivation , installing a factory of transformation of high quality nutritive soja flour and milk transformation of soja;
3. The third will be the transformation of soja into the milk by installing a factory of its transformation;
4. The last one will concern the creation of the micro-finance of the farmers.

Why tackling the UN SDGs in Burundi through this Initiative?

Burundi relief appears as a massif of tall mountains whose altitude varies between 1 200 m and 2 500m. Slopes can reach 70% for all Burundi territory. Because of erosion, a great part of Burundi ground is infertile then unproductive whereas demography is raging and there is a high and speed pressure on natural resources particularly on the soil.

Agriculture and breeding are the major indicators of Burundi Economy but they are exercised on infertile soil. Too many families count on very small grounds and their needs are not completed.

Then people, especially children, are suffering from different diseases such as Kwashiorkor, anemia’s ,..specifically because of the lack of consistent nutriments. It’s very necessary to manage this situation by planning solutions and soja is my target to contribute to eliminate this deficiency. During my investigations, i found that Burundi is among the first countries affected by malnutrition around the world. Children under 5 years old and some adults are more threatened in some areas .

World Merit Burundi as an Organization which is working on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is working with mission to unleash the upcoming generation by creating a wave of opportunities, has taken a big part on the field to change all threats related to malnutrition and is now involved to bring changes in community and help in behavior change about nutrition. World Merit Burundi has adopted the soja project integrated to Environmental protection to solve malnutrition in Burundi.

Furthermore, this project is registered into World Merit Burundi goals during this period while thinking about the future of country and the whole world which is involved in Sustainable Development.

Soja project meets also Burundi Governmental policy to eradicate poverty through its plan named “Vision 2025” and equals Sustainable Development Objectives especially in its goals 1,2 and 3 that advocate eradication of poverty , hunger, good health and well-being. Particular attention is also given to the latest COP21 about its objectives to adapt to Climate Change.

This approach favours the frame of people gathered into local companies with capacity of 300 persons per cooperative and per commune involved in common projects. The same approach helps people to develop their projects through agricultural and breeding activities integrated to Environmental safeguard.

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