About twice a month, thousands of Iraqi teenagers and preteens are gathering across their country in 4-H Clubs and pledge to use their “heads, hearts, hands, and health for the greater good of their community, their country, and the world.” That’s right, 4-H in Iraq! While often associated with rural American and agrarian life, 4-H was actually one of the first organizations in America that taught young people leadership skills and how to positively impact their communities. 4-H’s mission is to “empowering youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults.”
At their core 4-H nurtures positive youth development, learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. And that is much of the focus for the chapters in Iraq according to a recent article in Education Week. “Anything that can reach kids and, through kids, reach parents is potentially a very powerful tool to help and enable to help not only the current generation but the next generation” states Hiram Larew, the director of the Center for International Programs at the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, in Washington, DC.