Jamaica 4h clubbites get online learning supportTuesday, July 13, 2021
Three young Jamaican 4H clubbites – Kriston Chambers, Dre'Anna Hill and Rhondre Elliott – copped the titles of Male Youth Ambassador, Female Youth Ambassador and Champion Public Speaker respectively at the recently held Jamaica 4H Club Virtual National Achievement Expo. Each was awarded a brand-new Samsung LTE tablet, preloaded with 25 GB of data, courtesy of the Flow Foundation.
According to Dr Ronald Blake, Executive Director, “The Jamaica 4-H Clubs continue to push agricultural education and partnering with agencies is critical to increase the reach through remote learning. Youth farmers need tools such as tablets, laptops and the internet to be able to access key resources which are critical to increasing agricultural productivity.”
Reiterating the importance of technology, he continued, “The use of technology is key to improving access to agricultural education and research. With the mandate to increase the number of youths in agriculture, the farmer should be no less recognized as professionals. Increased access to and working with technology will make this happen. At the 4-H Clubs, we look forward to partnerships with entities such as the Flow Foundation to make technology more available to our youth farmers."
The Youth Ambassadors, who will serve for a year, are tasked with using their role to promote the 4-H Clubs as well as the agri-business enterprises of fellow 4-H clubbites.
This year's Male Youth Ambassador, 18-year-old Kriston Chambers, is a student at The Mannings School currently sitting his CAPE Unit 1 exams. He plans to motivate his peers to join and embrace the goals and mission of the Jamaica 4H Club to better themselves and impact others during his year.
“I want to instill the same skills that I learnt in 4H Club in others. I plan to increase the number of Clubbites. My major project will be to start a 4H Club at the Clifton Boys Home in Darliston,” he shared.
He further stated, “This tablet will be greatly beneficial to me especially with my school tasks and hosting 4H Club meetings. It will significantly improve my flexibility and access.”
Chambers successfully staged CSEC preparation sessions, spanning several subject areas, for 100 students. He also assisted students with their School Based Assessment (SBA) for Agricultural Science as part of his activities for the competition. His ambitions lie within the medical field as he hopes to matriculate to the University of the West Indies to study Radiology while being an active volunteer in the 4H programme.
Dre'Anna Hill, the Female Youth Ambassador, is a 15-year-old student of the Montego Bay High School for Girls. During her tenure, she intends to promote agriculture as a viable [career] field to her peers.
“Most persons, especially young people, are unaware that agriculture is a profitable business and tend to focus more on technology or other subject areas. But I think Agriculture is important and so I plan to encourage my peers to integrate the use of technology within the agricultural space during my year. There is a lot that we can do,” she said.
“I am grateful for the tablet. I am going into grade 10 and it will be a lot of work. It will help me to stay focused, become more organized and be better able to meet my commitments to both school and the 4H Club,” she added.
Hill, who is currently working to perfect her competition product - an aloe vera hair moisturizer - further shared that she plans to become an entrepreneur with restaurants and natural hair care products stores thereby marrying her love of agriculture with business and technology.
This year, the clubbites were also invited to speak on the topic, “Food Diversification: Combating Climate Change” for the public speaking competition. Rhondre' Elliott, a 14-year- old Munro College student, emerged the winner.
A member of his school's Debating Club, Elliott says participation in his congregational activities also helped to hone his public speaking skills. His project for the competition included a project book about crops and how they adapt to climate change and ways to better utilise our modern farming techniques which requires a lot of research.
Rhondre' aspires to pursue a career in the Culinary Arts or Broadcasting, stating, “Technology is very important even in the Culinary Arts. We do not use books so much nowadays but go online to conduct all our research. There is so much information that is available online – articles, videos, recipes and techniques that will broaden my horizon in this field.”
Speaking on Flow Foundation's support of the 4H Clubs' National Expo, Kayon Mitchell, Executive Director, said: “We are passionate about driving digital inclusion and empowering our youth through technology. These tablets will make a difference in the lives of these students, helping them to achieve their goals and dreams, while enhancing the fantastic work that they are already doing.”
“As we continue building a digitally empowered society, we are especially pleased with the high value being placed on technology integration in the agricultural sector and look forward to further partnerships which are aligned with our mission of enabling progress through digital inclusion” she added.
The Flow Foundation continues to support the empowerment of the nation's youth through various initiatives and partnerships. Since the start of the year, the organization has engaged in several private-public partnerships under which they have provided devices to students. The Foundation is also providing free high-speed internet service to over 220 schools.
The Jamaica 4-H Clubs, the youth arm of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, hosts an annual event aimed at promoting the holistic development of young individuals in the areas of agriculture, agro-processing, environmental awareness, leadership, entrepreneurship and healthy lifestyles. This year's event was also in observance of the organisation's 81st anniversary and is the inaugural fully virtual edition.
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