A graduate of the State University of New York with a bachelor’s in forensic science, Zariq Siddiqui serves as nutrition products sales director at Abbott Laboratories, Inc., in Chicago. Outside of work, Zariq Siddiqui contributes to several charitable organizations, such as Heifer International.
Heifer International recently launched the East Africa Youth Inclusion Program, a new initiative that aims to help youth in Uganda and Tanzania start businesses or find employment in the agricultural and dairy industries. Created in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, the $19 million project will likely be especially beneficial to youth who live near the growing dairy hubs.
Heifer International already operates a 600-member dairy and livestock farmers’ cooperative as part of its East African Dairy Development project. The cooperative has helped local farmers improve their dairy practices and get higher prices for their milk through their collective negotiating power.
As a result of this growth, young people have been finding jobs as delivery drivers to take milk to local dairy cooperatives. In turn, the economy has seen a ripple effect, with roadside shops opening to provide food and beverages to cooperative workers and drivers. With the new East Africa Youth Inclusion Program, Heifer International and Mastercard hope to continue this growth in the local dairy and agricultural industry and help position these young people for a brighter future.