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 Hunger  Ghana Project #29140

Help Provide School Meals for 5000 Children

by REACH OUT TO FUTURE LEADERS MOVEMENT
Help Provide School Meals for 5000 Children
Help Provide School Meals for 5000 Children
Help Provide School Meals for 5000 Children
Help Provide School Meals for 5000 Children
Help Provide School Meals for 5000 Children
Help Provide School Meals for 5000 Children
Help Provide School Meals for 5000 Children
Help Provide School Meals for 5000 Children
Help Provide School Meals for 5000 Children

According to Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the average age of a farmer is 55. The capacity of rural young people to contribute to rural development and transformation remain largely untapped and their potential unrecognized. The potential costs of failing to provide opportunities for young people are enormous, in terms of forgone prospects for local agriculture development, rural youth employment and economic livelihood support.

Despite the fact that agricultural mentoring provides huge prospects for local agriculture development, there is no agricultural mentorship program for young people in rural-based senior high schools in Ghana despite the high rate of rural unemployment. Rural farmers are a great resource to leverage in encouraging young people into agriculture and mentoring is a proven approach to drive rich learning and development for both local farmers (mentors) and rural young people (mentees).

This relationship encourages information, experience sharing and skills development for both rural farmers and rural young people. It also fosters a relationship between rural farmers and rural young people for local agriculture development. Our AgroMentoring initiative seeks to match rural young people to rural farmers for the purpose of knowledge and information sharing, experiential learning and skills development for rural young people in agriculture.

The goals of AgroMentoring initiative are 1. Equip rural young people with agriculture entrepreneurial skills for economic livelihood. 2. Forster rural farmers–rural young people relationship for knowledge and information sharing. 3. Give young people hands-on experience in agriculture for experiential learning and skills development. 4. Create a group of rural farmers and rural young people for mutual support for local agriculture development. 5. Assist the group that is formed from this initiative with private-public partnerships and investment, extension services and training in agriculture value-chain management. These goals will increase the prospects of local agriculture production and value addition for economic livelihood support in our partner rural communities by more than 40 per cent.

Rural young people do not perceive agriculture as a remunerative and prestigious profession and until they find meaningful economic opportunities and attractive environments in rural areas, they will continue to migrate to cities for 'unexisting' jobs. This project will foster community cohesion and promote social and economic livelihood support for shared prosperity and local development in agriculture.

For partnership, email us feed@schoolfarms.org

 

Rural young people are a great resource for local agricultural development, yet little is done to harness their potential. So despite the huge arable land in rural areas, coupled with the opportunities that the agriculture sector presents in these areas, rural young people are migrating to urban areas in pursuit of ‘unexisting’ jobs.

Rural young people are the future of food security, yet around the world, few young people see a future for themselves in agriculture or rural areas.

In Ghana, there is compelling evidence of the ageing farmer population which when not addressed, will threaten sustainability in agricultural production and development.

The average age of a farmer in Ghana is 55 years and life expectancy averages between 55 and 60 years.

Twenty-two facts

Below are the 22 things to think about:

1. Rural young people are a great resource for local agricultural development and food security and must not be treated as passive participants.

2. Rural young people do not perceive agriculture as a remunerative and prestigious profession.

3. Rural young people do not see economic opportunities and attractive environments in rural areas.

4. Opportunities, knowledge and support for value addition to agricultural production are yet to be harnessed by rural young people.

5. Rural young farmers are exploited by a growing urban young agripreneurpopulation along the value chain or through agriculture value chain development.

6. Rural young people are excluded from harnessing information and communications technology (ICT) for local agricultural development mainly because of unavailable ICT infrastructure in rural areas.

7. The concept of ICT in agriculture is yet to sink in with rural young people.

8. Rural young farmers cannot connect their produce to urban markets.

9. Farmlands for rural young farmers are under siege by urban estate developers.

10. Rural young agripreneurs are excluded from participating in international and national discussions on agricultural development.

11. Indigenous agricultural knowledge is relegated and totally replaced with expensive and unsustainable new knowledge whereas both can be leveraged for agricultural development.

12. The focus of agriculture investors on urban farmers and commercial agriculture will destroy the prospects of rural smallholder farming and may result in food insecurity.

13. Despite the arguably high penetration of mobile phones in Africa with inaccessible internet in rural communities, agriculture tech innovations must be contextualised. ICT in agriculture is not an urban concept.

14. Opportunities, knowledge and support for agricultural insurance are yet to be exploited by rural young agripreneurs.

15. The total dependence on collateral is a threat to the participation of rural, young agripreneurs in the sector.

16. The future of work in the rural economy also depends on making rural communities as habitable as urban. Basic infrastructural development, accessible technology and the availability of social amenities encourage agricultural development in rural communities.

17. Urban agripreneurs local labour exploitation creates conflicts and threatens local agriculture development.

18. Conserve indigenous and sustainable good agricultural practices through local agriculture mentoring.

19. School farms are safe spaces for youth. They promote agricultural entrepreneurial skills development through experiential learning.

20. Prospects of a partnership between rural and urban agripreneurs are yet to be harnessed.

21. Agribusiness is not an urban concept.

22. Rural young people’s experience, indigenous knowledge and skills should be leveraged for youth employment in agriculture.

 

In January 2018, the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Education introduced the Senior High School double-track system. The system is to afford the government with the capacity to deal with a large number of placed candidates who would hitherto not have had the opportunity to access Free Senior High School because of lack of classroom spaces.

The double track system, which commenced with the 2018/2019 academic year, is a fallout of the free SHS policy by the government which is in its second year of operation.

The double track system, we are told, is to last between five and seven years to allow the government ample time to address the accommodation challenges in the various Senior High Schools after which the 400 out of the 698 schools which are currently running the double intake system would revert to the trimester school calendar of the SHS.

 

The double track system and School Farms programme

The double track has affected the implementation of the School Farms project, in that, schools do not have enough time to allow students to engage in practical agriculture. Ideally, the school farms provide a space for experiential learning for agriculture entrepreneurial skills through our Agriculture Skills Development Program for young people.

Each track undergoes two semesters instead of the regular trimester in an academic year. Normal classroom contact hours have been increased from six hours per day to eight hours under the double track system. Because of the increase in the instructional hours from six hours to eight hours per day, teaching hours have also been increased from 1080 hours per week to 1134 hours per week in the double track system. This has been coupled with a long 41 days’ vacation period.

In view of the recent changes in the educational system, students may have limited time in school with longer contact hours within this short period. This means that students may not have enough time to work on the farm as well as likely not being on campus long enough to successfully complete full cultivation. Due to the increased contact hours, it has become difficult for schools to apportion times which students can dedicate to work on the farms.

The way forward

To overcome this challenge, the team has decided on creating an out-of-school model, at the community level, where students who are not in school during holidays can learn from home. This model would last until the end of the year 2024 when the double track system is anticipated to end.

Because of the two shifts, for each track or group of students, there is the need to divide the allocated land into two to allow each track experience the entire land preparation, nursery and monitoring plant growth before vacation. This would give students the opportunity to learn at various stages of production and measure growth from different stages. This would be made possible by the integration of the school farms practical into the time tables of school curricula.

The African Youth SDGs Summit is the largest gathering platform for youth from across the African continent and beyond to discuss and assess the status of implementation of continental commitments to the Global Goals but also sharing ideas, critiques, results and challenge national governments to deliver on their promise. It is a summit that brings duty bearers and right holders together to reaffirm actions towards sustainable development on the continent from the perspectives of the continent’s largest population, the youth.

 

The summit hosted more than 1,000 delegates representing youth organizations and AU agencies, national governments, international development agencies, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs, the private sector and SDGs actors to exchange experiences and good practices regarding the implementation of the SDGs and African Union Agenda 2063. The summit also recognized and rewarded individuals and institutions whose efforts are promoting youth inclusive governance and participation on the continent. All nominees demonstrated a significant contribution toward creating a positive and inclusive youth engagement on the SDGs through the implementation of policies, programs and initiatives. There were five categories: African Youth SDGS Achiever of the Year Award (male & female categories), Leave No One Behind, Private Sector Youth Inclusive Award, Innovative Start-Up Award and Youth Agribusiness initiative Award. Alfred Godwin Adjabeng won the highest and most prestigious award which is the African Youth SDGS (Male) Achiever of the Year. African Youth SDGs Summit co-organised by CSO Platform on SDGS, UNDP, UNICEF, and UNPA.

This year, we had a bumper harvest from our farm in Mawuli School in the Volta region of Ghana. This is due to the hard work and commitment of our partner school, Mawuli School and volunteer students who stayed committed to the goals of the School Farms Program.

On the 11th of September 2018, we welcomed GlobalGiving staff, Emma & Heather to our Reach Out to Future Leaders Movement (ROFLM) office in Ho, Volta region. As part of GlobalGiving's Evaluation Program, our organization has been selected to gain further understanding of GlobalGiving's vision and how to leverage GlobalGiving to raise funds for our project.

Here is our harvest from our school farm in Mawuli School. We harvested beetroot. Beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant. Beetroot is a good source of iron and folate(naturally occurring folic acid). It also contains nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants (notably betacyanin). More recent health claims suggest beetroot can help lower blood pressure, boost exercise performance and prevent dementia.

On the 30th of August 2018, we harvested these cabbages from our school farm. These were cultivated by our students in Mawuli School.

 A few months ago, we cultivated carrot, cabbage and beetroot and now the cabbage is ready for harvest. Thanks to all those who helped during the volunteerism to work on the farm and in cultivating these crops.

On the 4Th of August 2018, we called for community members to volunteer time to work on Mawuli School Farm as part of our Community Volunteer Day event.

When schools are on vacation, we depend on community members for labour on our farms through our Community Volunteer Day event. Ten (10) community members responded to our call and participated fully. We are grateful for their selfless support. These volunteers are our community builders. We are proud of their commitment.

 

International Youth Day Event:

On 12th of August 2018, marked the 19th United Nations International Youth Day Celebration and the year’s theme was dubbed “safe spaces for the youth”. We used the day to drive home the core message of our project that the youth is a great resource to the development of any nation and it is important to celebrate, appreciate and use this day to call for safe spaces for their development.

We reiterate the need to create safe spaces where they can come together to engage effectively in activities related to their diverse interests and participate in decision-making processes for their growth and development. At school farms, we do not only produce supplementary food crops for school meals but we also use our school farms as safe spaces for experiential learning for agriculture entrepreneurial skills development.

From 20 -21 August 2018, 100s of policymakers, development partners, youth leaders, private sector players, women and youth organizations, civil society organizations, research and academia will gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, for what seems to be FAO’s biggest regional conference on Youth Employment in Agriculture as a Solid Solution to Ending Hunger and Poverty in Africa: Engaging through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Entrepreneurship. Our founder, Alfred Godwin Adjabeng was invited by the Food and Agriculture Organization to participate in this all-important conference.

 

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Organization Information

REACH OUT TO FUTURE LEADERS MOVEMENT

Location: HO, Volta region - Ghana
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @_roflm
Project Leader:
Alfred Adjabeng
Reach Out to Future Leaders Movement
Ho, Volta Region Ghana
$1,898 raised of $5,000 goal
 
26 donations
$3,102 to go
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