Farm Children's Voices Project
Different Cultures, Different Farms 1994
Back Row: Sara Walsh, Derek Arseneault, Joanne McIsaac, Angus Mellish, Mat Hogan, Andrew McIsaac, Patsy Dingwell, Karen VanderAa, Trudy White (she didn't travel with us, but took the lead with many of our training sessions)
Front Row: Cory Ching, Andrew Winn, Jamy-Ellen Proud, Grace Younie, Melanie Ching, Frank Driscoll
Teresa Mellish, Jonathan Driscoll, and Verna Docherty went ahead of us to ensure things were all set.
By Patsy Dingwell
The Different Cultures, Different Farms Project in 1994 was my first introduction to Farmers Helping Farmers as chaperone with ten Island high school students.
The Farm Children's Voices project took place from 1993 to 1994. Eleven young people from Prince Edward Island went to Kenya for a month in July to learn about Kenya, Kenyan farms and Kenyan youth. Ten young people from Kenya came to Prince Edward Island in August to learn the same things about Canada. For approximately ten months prior to the exchanges, the youths undertook an extensive education and orientation program to prepare them for the adventure. *full project description below
This photo is at Kaaga Girls School in Meru, with Jamy-Ellen, Karen and Joanne.
While in Kenya, the Island students built a zero grazing unit for the school's cows at Kapsabet High School.
When on the Island, the Kenyan students were billeted with Island families. They also planted tree seedlings at the MacPhail homestead.
The other chaperones were Joanne McIsaac and Frank Driscoll and Trudy White was the coordinator.
More photos from Kenya:
Visiting the Kenya National Farmers Union Office
Welcomed at Rhoda's Farm just outside Nairobi...They had a lamb roast for us.
Patsy's hosts at the house where she was billeted.
The students visited a rice irrigation project in Kisumu and school children there welcomed them.
Different Cultures, Different Farms
Youth and Agriculture in Kenya and Prince Edward Island, Canada
An information kit prepared by The Farm Children's Voices Project
to complement the Prince Edward Island Grade 8 Geography Program
The support of The Prince Edward Island 4-H Council, The International Family Farm Exchange Association The Partners for Children Fund, Health and Welfare Canada,
The Kenyan National Farmers Union, The Young Farmers Clubs of Kenya The Kenya Ministry of Education
and the Prince Edward Island Department of Education and Human Resources
is gratefully acknowledged.
Our thanks to Videa, The Victoria International Development Education Association
for allowing the use of their graphics and illustrations
Introduction and Information to Teachers
Information on the Farm Children's Voices Project
The Farm Children's Voices project took place from 1993 to 1994. Eleven young people from Prince Edward Island went to Kenya for a month in July to learn about Kenya, Kenyan farms and Kenyan youth. Ten young people from Kenya came to Prince Edward Island in August to learn the same things about Canada. For approximately ten months prior to the exchanges, the youths undertook an extensive education and orientation program to prepare them for the adventure.
Farmers Helping Farmers, officially the International Family Farm Exchange Association, was the principal sponsor for the Farm Children's Voices project. They are a Prince Edward Island group devoted to learning more about farming conditions in developing countries, and assisting farmers in developing countries, particularly Kenya and Tanzania, with local level, highly practical self-help projects. To accomplish this they carry out a unique type of farmer to farmer international exchange project and interaction. Farmers Helping Farmers identified a need to involve youth in their activities and thus developed an exchange and activity project utilizing members' skills and backgrounds.
The Farm Children's Voices Project was approved and funded by the Partners for Children Fund, Children's Bureau of Health and Welfare Canada. There were a number of partnerships and collaborations established to manage, sponsor and direct the project. In Canada, Farmers Helping Farmers, the Prince Edward Island Department of Education and Human Resources and the Prince Edward Island 4-H Council were project partners. In Kenya, the Kenya National Farmers Union, the Young Farmers Clubs of Kenya and the Kenya Ministry of Education were project partners.
One of the main purposes of the exchange was to provide young people with an opportunity to educate themselves on issues in P.E.I. and Kenya that affect the family farm and food production, as well as on environmental and gender issues related to farming. The overall goal was "to develop and illustrate an international co-operative process which will empower farm youth to effectively voice opinions on global issues which will influence their well-being".
The young people taking part in the project were asked to pay special attention to four important areas:
- finding out about farm children at risk
- looking for inequalities in agriculture in both countries
- examining male/female (gender) differences and inequalities in farm work in both countries
- finding out how world wide issues affect life on farms in different places in the world.
In addition to the actual exchange activity, the project had the responsibility for developing a series of outputs or additional materials in an effort to extend and expand the experiences of the exchange members to a wider audience. The youth exchange participants had control, direction and creative responsibility for the output materials. They were assisted by a variety of professional advisors and support personnel, but the final decisions with regard to the this Grade 8 material and other outputs remained theirs. They hope that this approach helps to make the information valuable to the groups who will use it.
"We (the exchange youths) wanted to spread what we learned to other young people so we did some projects, including this one. We have also:
- made a video of our exchange and the things we learned and saw,
- organized a slide set to show people what we did and what we learned,
prepared some booklets about world agriculture for use in Young Farmers Clubs of Kenya, created a world agriculture awareness project for 4-H members, put together fact sheets and information for use in schools in Kenya."