Michigan 4-H member presents paper on poverty to international agriculture research experts

4-H youth Hollie Dowd learns about who is working to alleviate hunger and poverty around the world.

The Global Youth Institute is a youth program devised by the World Food Prize to motivate youth to gain knowledge about the issue of hunger around the world. Each of the 150 students from 27 states and territories and six countries, including Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, the United States and Tanzania, took part in a powerful three-day program in October, 2012. To qualify, they each wrote a five-page essay related to making lives better in countries around the world. Their papers contained research on hunger, education, poverty and development of solutions in those countries.

Hollie Dowd, Michigan State University Extension 4-H member from Glen Lake, Michigan and former international exchange participant in the eight-week 4-H/ Japanese Labo exchange, presented her paper on poverty among the rural farmers of Chad in Africa, named “Investing in Education to Invest in the Future.” She presented her paper to peers, international experts and former winners (laureates) of the World Food Prize.

The students heard a special address from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, and watched the presentation of the World Food Prize to Dr. Daniel Hillel of Israel for developing and implementing a radically new mode of bringing water to crops in arid and dry land regions known as micro-irrigation.

As members of the Global Youth Institute, they worked to package 10,000 meals to be sent to rural malnourished children of Tanzanian. They also took part in a simulation of hunger and poverty that affected the students greatly.

Holly represented Michigan very well. With her background and because she was chosen to attend the Global Youth Institute, she is eligible to apply for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship. If selected, she would have an opportunity to work in one of the agriculture research centers for a summer in any number of countries around the world.

Michigan 4-H will be looking this spring for a candidate to attend next year’s Global Youth Institute. Contact your local MSU Extension office for more information.

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