4-H Liberia - Surviving and Thriving After the Ebola Crisis
February 23, 2016
BENEFITING: National 4-H Council
A year ago, the Ebola outbreak threatened Liberia and many other West African nations. At the peak of transmission in late 2014, Liberians were facing unimaginable challenges. Fuel and food ran low. Schools, businesses, borders, markets, and most health facilities were closed. Fear and uncertainty about the future, for families, communities, and the country and its economy, dominated the national mood. In addition to the devastating health crisis, 4-H Liberia faced a financial crisis that nearly closed down the fledgling program.
Fortunately, donors like you stepped up to provide sustaining operating funds for 4-H Liberia. As a result, 4-H Liberia was able to continue 4-H programming, impacting children and teens through 4-H clubs and school gardens that provide critical food and nutrition sources as well as agricultural education.
When Liberian schools were able to re-open, 4-H Liberia began an exciting new project. In partnership with the United States African Development Foundation and the Central Agriculture Research Institutes (CARI), 4-H Liberia trained 72 Agriculture and General Science Instructors and 6 4-H Liberia Field Officers in major vegetable production practices and crop post-harvest operations. Attendees also learned about principles of 4-H positive youth development and the 4-H Enterprise Garden model that integrates school gardens with business skills and income generation.
Since fall 2015, new 4-H clubs and gardens have blossomed at sites around the country. Garden tools and seeds have been distributed, garden sites cleared, and nursery beds built. Despite weather set-backs, planting should begin in March 2016. The seeds of progress are sprouting with Liberian 4-H members, too, as they learn leadership and problem solving skills that will last a life-time!
Even with these successes, there is still much work to be done. As a non-profit, 4-H Liberia needs operating funds to sustain its organization and to continue supporting local community efforts to help young people and families prosper. Having built the infrastructure for success, we need donations both big and small to help our fellow 4-H'ers in Liberia achieve their dreams of making the best better.