On Wednesday, 3rd of November 2021, AgrarKontakte International (AKI) e.V. organized a graduation ceremony for 34 Ukrainian and 29 Kenyan trainees who completed their 6-month traineeship on host farms in Southern Germany.
The graduation ceremony for the 29 Kenyan trainees took place at DEULA Kirchheim/Teck on 3rd of November 2021. AKI Board Chairman, Mr. Hans-Benno Wichert, and Ms. Sabine Kurtz, State Secretary from the Ministry of Food, Rural Areas and Consumer Protection (MLR) attended the graduation ceremony and handed over the certificate to the trainees. Ms. Bärbel Sagi and Ms. Christine Loisir from German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), Dr. Richard Wekesa, Director of the Bukura Agricultural College (BAC) in Kenya and the responsible teacher from the BAC Mr. Davies Kamau were invited as honourable guests.
Three trainees were awarded by AKI Board Chairman Hans-Benno Wichert and AKI Managing Director Falk Kullen for their excellent practical performance as well as for the best written online report booklet. Afterwards, two team leaders gave their review of the completed traineeship:
"On our way we had to overcome some obstacles, like learning German. Learning and mastering a new language in a short time is not easy. But we did it with hard work and determination... We gained agricultural and organisational expertise." - Irungu Jacinta Wanjiku
"At first, I was afraid of the unknown, but little did I know that this was the beginning of a new journey to develop myself professionally... I was able to experience German culture through the eyes of a local, and I will not forget the culture of eating bread."- Okello Philip Marende
Since 2019, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has been funding the traineeship programme as part of the global project "Green Innovation Centres in the Agri-Food Sector" projects with the aim of increasing smallholder incomes, employment and regional food supply in the rural target regions of Africa through innovations in the agri-food sector. The traineeship programme with Kenya took place for the first time this year and AKI team is already actively preparing for next traineeship programme in 2022.
After the graduation ceremony of the trainees from Kenya, the graduation ceremony of the 34 Ukrainian was organized and the AKI Board Chair Hans-Benno Wichert and Johanna Scholz, Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) handed over the certificate to the trainees. In addition, Mr. Ekkehard Schröder, ADT Project Consulting GmbH, Ms. Ischchenko, Scientific-Methodical Centre for Higher and Secondary Vocational Education of Ukraine as well as Prof. Dr. Heinrich Schüle, Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Sciences participated in the graduation ceremony.
Four trainees were awarded certificates and gifts for their excellent practical performance and for the best report book. At the end of the event, two host families and two trainees gave an overview of the last 6 months representing the farms and trainees.
"...It was a really valuable experience, and I am sure that every trainee got a lot of impressions and new knowledge.", - reported Mykhailo Pakhalchuk from the host farm Kümmel.
The traineeship programme with Ukraine was supported for the fourth time by the bilateral cooperation programme of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in the frame of the project "Improvement of Education at Agricultural Colleges in Ukraine", which is implemented by ADT Project Consulting GmbH.
On the next day, 4 November, the trainees from Kenya and Ukraine left for their home countries.