Many communities in Ghana struggle with inadequate access to food and unemployment, especially among young adults. LDS Charities is partnering with 4-H Ghana to address these issues through the Benson Food Initiative. In this partnership, 4-H Ghana pairs local adults with youth to help the youth develop life and livelihood skills through agricultural projects.
The 4-H model, which is implemented worldwide, organizes agricultural clubs in local communities. These clubs provide students with agricultural training and support by teaching effective agricultural practices, improving nutrition and health for participants, and providing opportunities for leadership development.
Each youth group determines the types of crops they want to grow and plans their own project with support from local agencies, such as the Ghana Education Service, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and municipal and district assemblies. This connection with local resources provides sustainable change and a support network in years to come.
As part of this project, 4-H Ghana organized agricultural clubs in 50 schools, benefiting 1,550 students. Each school was selected because of the availability of surrounding land and water and the interest of local teachers. The clubs consist of students between the ages of 10 and 20, as well as 4-H alumni who serve as mentors to the younger students. Each club also has an adult advisor, who provides guidance and training. Club advisors have been selected for the 50 Ghanaian schools, and each received training this summer before the agricultural projects began.
Each group must prepare the land they plan to cultivate and build animal shelters prior to receiving any additional training or supplies. The groups completed this upfront investment and commitment for this project, and they received seeds, tools, and other start-up resources in August. This project will continue through the end of the year with activities that will include training on small animal rearing, marketing plans, and ongoing agricultural assistance.