Kenyan 4-H members Dancan Odhiambo Inda and Naomi Atieno Ochieng visit CANR.

Kenyan ambassadors

4-H youth from Kenya tour University's CANR facilities

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3:28 p.m., Dec. 12, 2013--The University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) served as host to three guests from Kenya on Wednesday, Dec. 11, as part of a joint effort by DuPont and the National 4-H Council. 

Touring CANR facilities were Naomi Atieno Ochieng and Dancan Odhiambo Inda, two young 4-H members from Kenya, and Millicent Akinyi Obare, the principal of Nyaminia Primary School, which they attend.

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The goal of the trip was for the students and principal to share the many ways that their club enterprises have helped generate life-saving revenue in Africa due to the unique partnership between DuPont and 4-H.

The guests were joined by members of Collegiate 4-H and Ag Ambassadors for a pizza party in the Townsend Hall Commons before taking a tour of the UDairy Creamery. 

Prior to arriving at UD, the delegation also visited the 4-H After-School Program at George Kirk Middle School in Newark, which is run by UD’s Cooperative Extension, had lunch and a reception with DuPont leaders, and visited DuPont’s Stine-Haskell Research Center, which both of the students said was a highlight of the day.

Obare explained that the club in Kenya, which there is called 4-K, has “45 registered members but basically all the children in the school are members in a way because the club runs a school feeding program which feeds the whole school. The population of the school is 920 so the feeding program takes care of the 920 every day.” 

Obare also said that the Nyaminia Primary School keeps the feeding program open on weekends so that if any child should stray into the school, they will have something to eat. 

Ochieng said that the 4-K program has provided her the opportunity to “learn skills that will help me in the future, and it has led me near a brighter future.” She said that her favorite part of 4-K is horticulture, while Inda said that he enjoys the livestock, specifically the cows. 

Obare said that since they have been in the U.S., she has taken a look at what kinds of activities the 4-H program runs for American youth and will try to incorporate some of those activities in the 4-K program when they travel back to Kenya. “Many of our projects are agriculture based but we could have children who have other interests, maybe scientific or otherwise. So we are going to sit down and explore ways of incorporating such kinds of projects so that we can bring on board other children who are not really interested in agriculture,” she said. 

About the partnership

In 2011, DuPont partnered with 4-H in five African countries to engage youth in development activities aimed at building skills to address the challenges of food security.

The Kenyan 4-H, or 4-K, club was initially designed to help sustain the feeding program of Nyaminia Primary School, which often provides a child’s only meal for the day.

Today, the club’s enterprises include gardening, maize growing, dairy production (cattle and goat), poultry, horticulture and forestry. 

Club enterprises also include a barbershop, as well as printing and photocopying. 

The club uses the revenue generated from these projects to subsidize the school feeding program; to provide milk and other sustenance to reach local communities affected and infected by HIV/AIDS; and to hire four adults to assist with forestry and animal projects.

Photos by Danielle Quigley

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