4-H Club Members with SPI Seed Packets
In the last report, we closed with a statement about the partnership program from 4-H Liberia: "This program provides a career path for young people to develop interest in feeding the nation. Access to tool banks via the partnership network is very useful. The children used to complain that their parents would refuse to let them borrow tools. Now, most of them have tools to cultivate their gardens." We recently received some photos from Umaru Sheriff, the National Executive Director for 4-H Liberia, Inc., so we thought you might like to know more about 4-H Liberia and see some of the young people participating in the program.
4-H Liberia has Enterprise School Garden programs in six of Liberia's 15 counties: Gbarpolu, Bong, Bomi, Margibi, Montserrado, and Lofa. The goal of the program is to develop the leadership, agricultural, and life skills of 4-H Club members and improve the socioeconomic conditions of members and their families. They accomplish this through inspiration, eduction, and agricultural work integration — keeping an eye out for future farmers, providing equipment, and using the school garden as a learning laboratory. The garden also helps connect the school and community: "The garden is a bridge that links the gap between community members and school authorities, promoting interaction between the school and the community." Similar to SPI programs, 4-H has designed their programs around each community's context to ensure adoption and circulation.
With about 3,000 members, just under half are girls and young women ages 8 - 25 years old. 4-H has made gender education and equity a priority in its programs, which is just one of the reasons we love what they're doing! Speaking about gender education in their programs, they share, "One of the objectives of the 4-H Program is to develop leaders. Liberia, like other African countries, is a male dominant society. In the process of developing leaders, females need to be included without being restricted to certain jobs." Their first two objectives are: For boys to see girls as partners in development; and to erase the notion that there are specific jobs for girls and others for boys. By prioritizing gender education, they are teaching both girls and boys to understand leadership and serve side by side in leadership positions.
What's next for 4-H? At the last stakeholder meeting for the Liberia SPI Partnership Netowork, 4-H Project Officer Ted Williams shared, "4-H Liberia has a vision to establish a seed bank in Liberia. This will help farmers to receive local and viable seeds on time. This could be done by empowering farmers with seeds and when the seeds are collected from the farmers, it will go directly to those that are in need." 4-H and the other Partnership Network members are looking toward the future — toward resilience and self-sufficiency. We're proud to support them along the way.
The photos in this update are from 4-H in Bomi County, Liberia. You can read more about their program at the 4-H website, and you can see a seed germination testing video that was produced as part of their work with SPI on SPI's YouTube channel.
Thank you, again, for your support of this project.
Younger 4-H Club Members with SPI Seed Packets
The season is underway!