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Going Global Service Learning Q&A

The Going Global Service Learning pilot program in Ghana goes a step beyond local community engagement and creates a platform for 4-H in Canada youth to make meaningful contributions to a community development project in an international context. Our ten delegates have been travelling in Ghana for the month of July and meeting 4-H in Ghana youth along the way. Here are some of their experiences shared by Jessica and YAC member Casey.

1.What are the differences in agricultural practices, in 4-H programming and in communities between Ghana and Canada? What are the similarities?

Casey: 4-H is administered through the schools in Ghana but still thrives on the same values as 4-H Canada of positive youth development. Communities are much closer in Ghana both in terms of location and social interaction. In Ghana your community lives right outside your window. Your neighbours are no more than 10 paces away.

Jessica: Ghana operates their 4-H program through their schools while Canada's 4-H is a separate organization. Ghana’s agricultural practices are different from Canada's because each country grows different foods and therefore different practices are introduced. The similarities between Ghana and Canada are that both countries are passionate about the 4-H program and are keen to learn from one another.

2.Tell us about something you’ve learned through your host family.

Casey: I have learned how to wash my laundry by hand and to make a local food called ground nut soup.

Jessica: I have learned how to prepare some traditional Ghanaian meals and to carry heavy items on top of my head.                                                                                                                                                                                  

3.What was your experience with the service component to service learning? In what ways did you contribute and did you learn any new skills?

Casey: We attended four schools and talked about 4-H and about Canadian culture. We asked questions about Ghana and I found the older students were more open to asking questions. Their questions had more to do with government. I have learned a lot about the importance of communication and how we explain things when there is a language barrier.

Jessica: Going to a primary school to teach the kids about 4-H in Canada and learn how Ghanaians participate in 4-H.

4.What were you hoping to experience on this trip? Has that changed? What impact will you bring back to your community?

Casey: I was hoping to experience more agriculture in my host family setting but there are no big farms like at home and most agriculture is in the form of gardens behind the house. There's no real definition of property or what land belongs to who. The gardens look like a forest /bush area. I will take to my community the impact of working together as one for a common good.

Jessica: I was hoping to learn about the Ghanaian culture and lifestyle and I have certainly achieved that by living with my host family. I will have a new outlook on my life back home and share my experience with my friends, family and the 4-H in Canada community.

5.Describe your trip or experience in one word.

Casey: “eye-opening.”

Jessica: “unforgettable.”

To learn more about the Going Global Service Learning program visit: 4-h-canada.ca/GGSL16