On Saturday, May 16, we were able to hold a leadership workshop for the executive committees of all the current 4-H clubs in Asesewa, Ghana. When I arrived, there were two existing clubs located at the R/C JHS, and the Presbyterian JHS. Since then, I have been able to start three other clubs located at the Anglican JHS, Methodist JHS, and Amen Senior High School. We had 38 students total from the four different JHS campuses, two advisors and one teacher/co-advisor, and the six AgriCorps members attend the workshop. There were several reasons we brought the leaders from the various schools together for this event. First, three of the schools (Anglican, Methodist, and Amen) are new to 4-H (within the last 6 months) and this was a good opportunity to teach them some of the tennets and ideologies behind 4-H. In addition to the new clubs, because it is towards the end of the school year and the form 3s will be taking their final exams in one month, the existing clubs recently elected new executive committees for the next year. Secondly, the aim was to foster a sense of a 4-H community in Asesewa because we now have a significant number of schools in the town with 4-H clubs. Although some of the students might know each other from outside of school, this was a way to start friendships among the other schools. Finally, it was an opportunity to get to engage with students, do some PYD activities, and continue to build relationships with them. Having the opportunity to build these relationships is what struck me so powerfully this Saturday.
We have now been in our communities for 9 months, and I feel that I have been able to forge true relationships with my students, as well as the other advisors and their students. Those that are on the Executive Committee of 4-H, or are involved members are some of which I have the closest relationships with. Getting to do this workshop for them at the same time we had formed friendships was a gift.
We did sessions on public speaking, goal making, alternative irrigation, sachet fence building, and agricultural techniques such as neem herbicides. We also had a multitude of games and PYD activities throughout the workshop. Watching “my” students talk, smile, laugh, participate, and really engage in what we were asking of them filled my heart with joy. These students are very special to me, and spending the day with them in an intimate setting meant so much. Watching joy, amazement, and concentration flit across their faces really cemented the reasons I chose to do AgriCorps, and why I want to do this work for the rest of my life. Impacting those around me in positive way is always my goal no matter where I am, and this workshop made me believe that perhaps I am truly having a small impact on the students here. Regardless, I know they are having a huge impact on my heart, and have changed the way I think and who I am. The workshop was so incredible to me because it successfully brought students from all over Asesewa together and continued to develop their creative thinking skills, as well as taught them some different agricultural techniques.