April 11, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
American Volunteer to be Named “Sub-Chief” of West African Village
ACCRA, GHANA – On June 5, 2015, the community of Adarkwa, Ghana, will hold a traditional ceremony to honor John Romo as Nkosuohene, a sub-chief title part of the customary Akan chieftaincy. The Nkosuohene is the leader for progress and development of a community, and it is rare for a foreigner to be given the designation. The ceremony will be a colorful display of Akan heritage with flowing robes and centuries-old traditions.
John Romo, of Weslaco, Texas, has been teaching agriculture and advising a 4-H Club at a junior high school in a small Ghanaian village since August. Romo, a 2012 graduate of Texas A&M University, is a member of the AgriCorps—a Peace-Corps type organization that connects American agriculture volunteers to agricultural education opportunities in developing countries.
“We understand that Sir John cannot stay with us forever,” explained an elder of Adarkwa, “but we have felt his impact over the past few months, and we want to continue to feel his impact even if he is in America. As Nkosouhene, he will forever be part of our community.”
Romo is working in Adarkwa to establish a 4-H Club and enhance existing agricultural programs. He teaches agriculture to fifty students at the local junior high school and uses the school farm to demonstrate sustainable agricultural practices. He was pivotal in starting a 1,500-seedling cocoa, moringa, and oil palm nursery, through the 4-H Club, that will benefit local farmers and teach students that agriculture can be a profitable business. Through this connection, young people and their families not only have access to improved agricultural technologies to increase yields, but they also learn life skills to become healthy, critical-thinking farmers and democratic citizens.
“It is a great privilege to be asked to take on this role,” stated Romo, “yet, there is still much work to be done. They have honored me, and I hope to help them produce the long-term development results they desire. This position is a lifelong commitment, and over time, I hope to empower the people of Adarkwa to improve their schools, their infrastructure, their well being, and their local economy.” Romo is the first American to be honored as a sub-chief in Adarkwa.
Romo will complete his volunteer term with AgriCorps in late June 2015. He plans to continue his graduate work in international agricultural development at Oklahoma State University and focus his research on Adarkwa.
AgriCorps connects American agriculture volunteers to the demand for experiential, school-based, agricultural education in developing countries. Through this mission, AgriCorps accomplishes three outcomes:
- Globally minded American agriculture professionals with experience living abroad
- Young leaders in developing countries committed to farming as a science and a business
- Food security in developing countries through improved agriculture production and value chains
AgriCorps maintains strategic partnerships with 4-H Ghana, the National 4-H Council of the United States, and the National FFA Organization. AgriCorps is a 501(c) 3, non-profit organization headquartered in Throckmorton, Texas.
For more information, visit AgriCorps online at www.agricorps.org.
Executive Director, AgriCorps, Inc.