Exchanges in Action

How can partners from very different regions of the world work together to increase sustainable agriculture? Primary school students in Hong Kong and Tanzania decided to find out!

Students in Tanzania live in a rural community where farming off the land is a daily cultural practice. In Hong Kong, a major global city, rural farming is scarce, so urban farming is a cornerstone for agriculture.

The idea behind this digital exchange was to have students in Tanzania and Hong Kong research local farming and gardening. In Tanzania, this was done through conducting interviews with farmers, and touring a local farm. In Hong Kong, the students toured an urban “rooftop” farm, giving the students experience with urban farming. During this field trip, the focus was on farming practices, interviewed farmers, and study food sources in their areas.

Students in Hong Kong learn about “Roof Top” farming.

Students in Tanzania learn from local farmers about the kinds of crops that are specific to the land.

The students then worked in groups to hand-write an informational/ journalism style story on the topic, complete with illustrations. These stories were scanned and sent by email to the other class, so the students could compare and contrast farming in Tanzania to Hong Kong. Both groups created reports of the findings as well. See the reports here:

http://knowmyworld.org/KMWExchangeReport.Tanzania.pdf

http://knowmyworld.org/KMW.UrbanFarm.HK.pdf

The exchange culminated in a 45 minute video conference over Skype, in which the students presented their projects and asked questions about each other’s culture. It was amazing to see the participants finally meet face to face, after working together through these many months! Students were able to identify the differences in farming and the similarities in human needs between the cultures and to educate the world about sustainable agriculture.