Valens is a 24-year-old activist from Rwanda.
Through 300-member cooperatives and a focus on poor rural women and girls, the Lusa Program (LP) initiative, developed through sprout e-course, provides access to land, seeds and greater women's income for community gardens and technical assistance in sustainable low-cost agriculture practices and related markets. This results in increased food security, more production of food for markets, improved household incomes, increased soil fertility and increased environmental protection. In addition to the income increase for women and girls, their well-being is increased, due to learning professional, leadership and advocacy skills. It also develops social organization and family togetherness. Thus, the LP has demonstrated its ability as a business model to sustain social support to vulnerable women and girls through low-cost sustainable agriculture practices and life-saving knowledge and skills provision.
Valens has participated in the sprout e-course, which allows young people to receive training on social and environmental innovation. Though this experience, he learned to think big and work with leaders across various fields. Valens feels tremendously privileged to be in a position where he is able to mobilize resources on behalf of underprivileged communities.