This is Raqueta, a hero of Young Africa

In the series ‘Meet The Heroes of Young Africa” we get to know graduates and learn about their drives to join Young Africa, their passions and their ambitions in life. Meet Raqueta, twenty-seven, from Sofala, Mozambique. 

“Our family is very poor and my father has a disability preventing him from actively engaging in any form of work. My mother does part-time jobs. She invited us to work in people’s farms in exchange for money or food items as well. As a result, I did not manage to complete my secondary education. I dropped out and got impregnated when I was 15 years old, in 2009. Unfortunately, the father of my first son ran away to Beira. My life became very difficult when I gave birth as I could not meet the needs of the child. In trying to escape these difficulties, I eloped to a married man in 2012 and gave birth to my second son a year later. However, he was very abusive and I had to go back to live with my parents in 2014.

When I came back home, I decided to go back to school to complete my secondary education. That way I could enhance my chances of getting a paid job in Beira. To finance these studies, I started my small horticultural garden where I produced mainly cabbage, tomatoes and green beans for sale. This was not enough to pay the fees and was often affected by the seasonal peaks and drops of products and prices. I tried to supplement it with the sale of biscuits and cookies to students at school until I eventually completed my secondary education in 2016.  I found it hard to acquire a good job.

In 2018, a friend of mine told me about scholarship opportunities at Young Africa for technical and Vocational Education Courses. The district administrator of Búzi selected me and some other young people from the village to participate and benefit from the scholarships. I completed my course in Agriculture in 2019 and even though I have not found a formal job, I now use the information I learnt to increase the productivity and profits from my horticultural produce. I also take advantage of seasonal variations by planning, planting long harvesting tomato varieties and I have managed to secure two contracts with local restaurants to supply vegetables weekly. I know this is not the best, but we are living a better life than before. I can meet all the needs of my children and that of my siblings from these sales which is great.”.

At Young Africa we envision a world where education for all youth is the new status quo. We have trained up to 40.000 youth and are determined to train many more across Southern Africa.