From June 2021, School Farms will innovate to incorporate a revenue generation model. School Farms support local schools to grow their own food. Disadvantage schools in rural Ghana are facing challenges with funding school meals because of the continuous rise in food prices coupled with the government’s inability to efficiently fund or subsidize school feeding programs. Some schools are facing the threat of closing down whilst others have increased school fees to make up for the debts. This obviously is affecting access to education with school dropout rate especially in the Northern Region as 80%.
The project employs a cost reasonable-community-driven and sustainable solution base model, harnessing local resources and expertise to support the school feeding budget, making them open all year round. The schools host the project, the local Ministry of Food and Agriculture provides free consultation and technical know-how as part of the ministry’s extension service and the community provides the land where schools don’t have lands. Students engaged to benefit from agriculture technical training. 70% of this product would be used to feed the students. 30% of the produce would be sold to an identified market of which proceeds go into an agreeable fund, 20% to be used to cultivate the next year and 10% comes to us to sustain the project.
On September 23, 2020, Reach Out to Future Leaders Movement (ROFLM) launched its climate action project dubbed Youth Take Lead on SDG13. The purpose was to encourage youth participation to solve problems pertaining to climate change and to develop the enthusiasm and skills to champion the cause of climate action by being part of the solution.
Activities undertaken included webinar on zoom, WhatsApp chat, Community sensitization, Climate action training and SDG multiplication, and tree growing exercise. Partners for the project were Youth Empowerment Synergy, 100% for the Children, CISU- Civil Society in Development, School Farms, Green Stewardship International, Future Team Ghana, Ghana Youth Environmental Movement, and Giving Life Nature Volunteer.
Ms. Doreen Appiah-Num, Project lead for the project, expressed heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to speakers, volunteers, staff, youth around the world especially those in Ve-Golokuati, Ghana, and the general public for their enthusiasm and willingness to embark on climate action and thanked their participation and support throughout the project.
Giving a background of the project, Ms. Doreen Appiah-Num expressed the challenges faced by Ghana and the world at large pertaining to extreme temperatures, flooding, and unstable weather conditions caused by climate change and the need to involve young people who have the energy and numbers to influence change.
On ending the project, she reiterated that although the project may have come to an end, the fight against climate change continues. She urged everyone, young people especially, to take up this challenge and offer their skills and ideas towards a changing planet.
Ms. Doreen also used the opportunity to congratulate her entire project team: Georgina Borlu, Bance Salifu, Alfred Godwin Adjabeng, Joshua Bansah, and Terry Andoh for a good job done and ensuring the project was a great success. In all, the Youth Take Lead project successfully recruited over five hundred youth change makers from seven countries who pledged their commitments to championing the fight against climate change. One hundred trees were also planted in Ve-Golokuati in the Volta Region.
ROFLM and School Farms appreciate all and sundry for their support throughout the project. It is our hope this fight continues to be fruitful. Youth Take Lead on SDG13; Together We Can Do It!!!
Since 2020 began, the Covid-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on global health systems and economies. The world continues to battle an unseen enemy; a virus which seems to continually impact every sector of life. This effect obviously did not spare schools and as such, most schools around the world had to close down in order to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus and keep students safe.
This pandemic additionally forced schools to review their models to ensure the safety and protection of the students whilst safeguarding academic continuity. This review included moving teaching and learning activities online.
In the wake of this global crisis, most governments and schools are adopting measures to limit the impact of Covid-19 on the new changes in teaching and learning processes for students. In Ghana, all schools closed down in March 2020, and till date, on-site academic activities have not resumed, except for final year tertiary, senior high school and junior high school students who have to complete their final examinations.
With the School Farms project which requires students to have hands-on, in-person experiences on the farms, the closure of schools has put the project on hold. Even though people need to eat during the crisis, continuing the project without students’ involvement with refrain from the projects core objectives.
Thus, the team dutifully maintains the farms in anticipation of school resumption but main agricultural processes have been paused until the time full academic work can begin.
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