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close this bookPopulation, Employment and Income (FAO)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAims/objectives
View the documentBasic concepts
View the documentActivity no. 1 - What I will do as an adult
View the documentActivity no. 2 - What is my community like?
View the documentActivity no. 3 - What can we do to improve our standard of living?

Activity no. 3 - What can we do to improve our standard of living?

What can we do to improve our standard of living? (A)

What can we do to improve our standard of living? (B)

A role-play activity to decide on an income-generating project for the youth group.



Note: It is important that the leader does not just write out the list of possible activities as the object of the exercise is to encourage the group to think up ways to earn money by themselves.

· The leader explains that since the group has just discussed the need to develop ways for rural youth to increase their earning capacity, now they will take this idea further and decide what activity would be most appropriate and finally actually put it into practice.

· The leader suggests one or two ideas from the list given on pages 32-33 (or other ideas he or she may think are suitable, then asks the group for further suggestions. The group leader may add more ideas from the list if not enough are suggested.

· In groups of two or three, the participants then choose one activity they would like to consider doing.

· These small groups then decide among themselves with help from the group leader, how they would carry out the activity in reality. They should consider especially the points on page 31.

· Each small group prepares a drama imagining they are actually carrying out the activity. The rest of the groups act as the community. The drama should cover obtaining materials and start-up funds (if any) producing the goods, finding buyers, problems with funding, etc.

· After each presentation, the leader holds a discussion of the good and bad points of the activity and whether it would be practical or desirable in reality.

· The group then carry out one or more of the activities as they decide is appropriate.

· The group leader may wish to invite a small business advisor or similar resource person to assist groups in this planning exercise. It is important though that plans are not too ambitious to begin with, until the group members gain confidence in their abilities.

Note: it is important that the youth actually learn by doing.


So that group members will be able to:

· Understand that they are capable of finding ways to earn money, and that with good ideas and hard work, there are many ways that they can generate employment and income in the rural areas.

· Build up their confidence in their ability to work and earn income.

· Work together to earn income for their youth group.



· The suggestions for activities on pages 32-33 and the discussion questions on page 31.
· Enthusiasm and hard work.
· A desire to increase income and earning capacity.
· Possible assistance from resource persons or local small business advisors.

Some background information for the group leader

What kind of income-generating activities are possible for rural youth?

As we have seen in the other activities of this module, youth generally lack experience and capital. This means that income-generating activities must be simple and inexpensive to start.

There must be a need or market for any product before the group begin to work on their activity so it is important to check whether they will really be able to carry out the activity before too much time is spent on it.

Secondly, if something is to be produced, what will it cost to make and can it be sold for a high enough price to be worth the time and trouble?

If a loan or start-up funds are needed, will it be possible to obtain this? Can the group collect enough money to start, or can they borrow money with group responsibility to repay the loan?

How much time is required for the activity? What will they not be doing when they are working on this activity?

Will this activity have a good or bad effect on the community - on the environment?

Are similar goods already being produced, i.e. will there be competition which might lower the price which can be obtained?

Some income generating activities which might be suitable for rural youth groups are given overleaf

Details for some of these ideas may be obtained by contacting local assistance agencies. FAO is also producing a supplementary booklet to this module covering several ideas in more detail.

Some questions to start off the discussion

1. Is there a market need for this product/service?
2. Do we have enough money to start this activity or can we borrow it?
3. How much time will it take up?
4. What competition is there? From the same product - or similar products?
5. Where can we get the materials?
6. What effect will the activity have on the community?
7. What effect will it have on the environment?
8. Where can we get help to start the activity?

Some ideas for income generating activities

1. Group gardens: producing vegetables, fruits, spices, etc. for sale as fresh or processed produce.

2. Beekeeping

3. Raising chickens, rabbits or other small animals

4. Short season crops such as maize and groundnuts

5. Drying or preserving fruits and vegetables: e.g. with the solar dryer in the module on nutrition (Activity No. 3). Jam making is another possibility.

6. Soap making

7. Weaving baskets

8. Making craft items for the tourist trade

9. Carving

10. Candle making

11. Making oil lamps for use in homes

12. Tie dying or potato print designs for clothing

13. Candy production

14. Carpentry for furniture production

15. Low cost building materials: e.g. making bricks from mud and straw, bamboo cane and palm roof thatching. Making roofing tiles out of rubber tyres.

16. Building grain stores: or even just rat guards if funds and abilities are very limited to begin with.

17. Services: e.g. transport of goods, buying goods in a market for villagers or a child care nursery (so that adults can do other work).

Booklets in this Leaders Guide Series:

Population and Agriculture
Population, Employment and Income
Population and the Environment
Population and Nutrition
Population and Health
The Family and Family Size
Human Growth and Development
Responsible Parenthood
How the Population Changes
Community Involvement

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Integration of Population Education into Programmes for Rural Youth INT/88/P9