At the end of 2005, there were 24.5 million people in sub-Saharan Africa living with HIV and AIDS. This has left 12 million children in the region without one or both parents. By 2010 over 18 million children will have lost one or both parents as a consequence of the HIV epidemic. Millions more will be made vulnerable even before they become orphans. Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools (JFFLS) help fill knowledge and skills gaps left by the premature death of parents.
A JFFLS is a living classroom and a school without walls. The learning aims of the JFFLS are to empower children and youth, enhance their agricultural and life skills and enable them to explore risks, solve problems and develop greater gender equity. At the end of one season, children and youth gain significant knowledge in agriculture, having been exposed to both traditional and modern techniques, are more confident in analysing and solving life problems, are better informed on health, HIV/AIDS, child rights and gender issues
FAO is the lead United Nations agency and is responsible for the quality of the activity. FAO oversees provision of agricultural skills, seeds, tools, and agricultural inputs.