“Anything is Possible”
Poultry intern Sicelo Gamede is the first in his family to graduate from university, first to travel overseas. Also the oldest of his siblings, he knows these achievements have made him an influencer in his community. He has some big ideas about how to exert that influence when he returns home.
But winding the story back a bit: Sicelo is in Indiana for a year supported by the Future Farmers Foundation in South Africa under a grant from the World Poultry Foundation. He arrived for his Rose Acre Farms internship well prepared – he has a B.Sc. in Animal Production and a couple years of poultry farm experience under his belt.
“I’m very, very lucky,” Sicelo exclaims. “The managers move us around the operation and allow us to shadow them. We are learning how to run the farm.” “Sometimes I have responsibility for close to a million chickens,” he beams.
Sicelo’s big dream is to make people’s lives better in his Zulu homeland in South Africa, especially through agriculture. He plans to start a small layer farm to supply inexpensive eggs and cheaper protein to his community. In addition, he’d like to offer in-service training to agriculture students. “I saw how difficult it was for students to secure this necessary training during my own studies.”
Sicelo credits his late mother for instilling so much drive and passion in him. “She saw it all. I was studying for my high school certificate and she started talking about my university graduation!” She told him, “My child, I am not educated, but you will get an education.” And that he did.
In Indiana, Sicelo enjoys the peace and quiet of small-town American life and the star-lit nights. Winter, so far, is not too bad. Sicelo likes it when it snows and the moon lights everything up. “Here you can think straight; good ideas just pop up.” As he ponders how to improve the lives of his community members, he feels that “anything is possible.” “In my heart I know that the more I help, the better I live.”
The South African interns participate on a J-1 visa exchange visitor program sponsored by the WISE Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Dyersburg, Tennessee.
Ms. Frances Chisholm
Friend & Supporter of the WPF
Learn More About Frances