Youth Building Roots


Youth Building Roots
The United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia (UNA-GP), in collaboration with NOVI, a non-profit organization which seeks to improve the quality of life of villagers in Benin and YONSO, in Ghana, is organizing its next Youth Building Roots Program for 2013-2014. See  brochure (here). Also check out this poster about an evaluation of our program in 2013 (here).  We invite your school to participate in this three-part program which has the goal of educating middle-school students on nutrition, food security, local food production, and global food sustainability problems.
During the first session, (one class room hour), UNA-GP volunteers will visit your school to teach students about the origins of their food and regional agricultural systems and methods, as well as how they can take a more active role in sustainable food practices. We hope to make these presentations in January 2014. This class will end with a request to participate in a second event, “the propagation party”.  The propagation party, scheduled for late February through the middle of March, can be in classrooms, during an afterschool session or during lunch. During the “party” students will plant seeds and get instructions. The planting is followed by instructions on care and maintenance, called “Nurturing Nature”.  The planted material can either be cared for in window sills in the classrooms, libraries, or other spaces in the school.   The third session will take place on or near International Youth Service Day on April 16, 2014, or Earth Day, April 22nd, when we will take what the students have already learned and expand it from small-scale to large-scale thinking. At that event, which can be in school or off campus, Students will engage in a tree-planting activity and, in addition, participate in a video conference call with children from the NOVI school in Benin, the Yonso project in Ghana or students elsewhere (new partnerships for this year include students from Senegal and possibly India).  Following that, there will be a discussion period during which children can voice their thoughts on food, agricultural, and nutrition. After the 22nd of April, students will take the seedlings home for further care. They will be asked to report on their “farming” results.


The program uses much material from the Friends of the World Food Program, a NGO in Washington DC.  Our YBR program is intended to foster a sense of global citizenship and encourage students to think beyond their own community, as well as give the students a deeper understanding of where their food originates. Teachers who take an interest in this subject have been able to work with community gardens and farms like Weavers Way farm or Cobb Creek farm, to expand the learning experience. The program has improved much since it first began. We have been able to even expand our links to include students in Senegal and India. 
If you are interested in participating in this program, please RSVP before January 10, 2014. Please e-mail me at with your school name, a school representative’s/teacher’s name, a phone number, and an approximate number of participating students; we would also like for you to forward the invitation if you know of any other teachers or schools you think would be interested in our program. We have several volunteers who can visit your school to address any questions and discuss possible scenarios that fit your school or your curriculum. 
On behalf of the Youth Building Roots Team,
 Arame Niang, Program Coordinator