It is said the best education one can achieve is travel. That being said, these young international students, mostly from the United States are getting the best of the best. Already the students of the African American Islamic Institute in Medina Baye are taking intense courses in Quran memorization, Arabic language and more. Now they have embarked on a new kind of education that builds knowledge of sustainable measure in urban agriculture.
This week more than 20 young American students between the ages of 7 and 17 worked together to build a rooftop vegetable garden. The first of it’s kind in the sub-Sahara desert region of Kaolack Senegal. A region so dry, local farmers can only grow crops for about 3 months during the rainy season. The goal of the program was not only to create lasting educational activities for the boarding students but to also introduce new ways of growing goods close to home and all year round.
The program organized by Give 1 Project Kaolack in partnership with The AAII International Boarding Program allows young people to develop professional skills while studying in various academic fields. In Africa, it is expected that agriculture will create more billionaires before 2020 than any other sector. The growing industry is a pathway to success and sustainability for the young students and locals alike.
As part of the Agriculture Day activities, the students were able to plant their own vegetables that they will also keep up with and crop once they are grown. The mini rooftop farm consists of onions, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, okra, and cucumbers. In addition, the rooftop also has 2 lemon trees, a banana tree, a coconut tree, a date palm, pomegranates, and several other flowery treats. In time the urban rooftop farm will be an oasis of edible crops for the students to pick and use.
Opportunities like this are an amazing way to open the minds of young people and show them the various options available to them in the economic world. Building creativity, group exercises, and manual hobbies provide for the student to absorb a plethora of skills that can be used in any place or environment.
Africa is at the forefront for young entrepreneurship and bridging the gap between the diasporan youth and the young people on the ground is the best way to build a generation of leaders who are proud of their homeland.
This is just the beginning.
CREDIT: RJ Mahdi