A little known fact is that more than 250,000 young Africans are actively involved in independent 4-H programs across the continent. The National 4-H Council is publicizing this fact through a new video.
"In Africa, youth and adults are working together to address our planet's greatest challenge—how to feed a rapidly growing population," said Donald Floyd Jr., National 4-H Council president and CEO. "The amazing leaders and volunteers of 4-H Africa are building an avenue of hope for millions of young people."
Today, 4-H programs exist in 50 countries throughout six continents, including 13 countries in Africa. National 4-H Council efforts are focused on partnering with African 4-H country leaders to strengthen the capacities of educators and volunteers through a pan-African 4-H network. 4-H programs in Tanzania, Ghana, and Kenya serve as hubs of excellence that develop and share best-practice resources in the areas of enterprise gardening, management and leadership development, program evaluation and online knowledge sharing.
Corporate and foundation partners who share 4-H's commitment to positive youth development and agricultural productivity including DuPont, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Cargill, Nike Foundation and Motorola-have contributed more than $5 million to building the Africa 4-H network.
The 4-H programs in Africa as described are more like the FFA program in the U.S. A shining example of 4-H in Africa is the 4-K Club (the equivalent of 4-H in the U.S.) at the Nyamninia Primary School in Yala, Kenya. 4-K members run the club and its six enterprises—gardening, maize growing, dairy production, poultry, horticulture, and forestry. The 4-K club is able to provide a daily cereal-based lunch for all 900 students at the school, in addition to providing water, paying for electricity and providing scholarships for youth to attend secondary school. Students are also given seeds to grow home gardens and the profits from the harvested crops are used to purchase school uniforms and help support their families.
For more information on how to support the 4-H network in Africa, as well as to view the video, visit www.4-H.org/africa.