Patrick Bandanaa and the Ghana Connection
Between 2007 and 2012, Worldwide Farmers Exchange sponsored 23 participants from Ghana.
One such alum is Patrick Bandanaa, who initially had some difficulties adjusting to the American way of life and the culture he found himself in. In fact, his first host called WFE to request that Patrick be removed from his farm because of an auto accident. Fortunately, WFE found him a new host, and he became one of the first J1 participants at Livingston Enterprises, a family-owned pig farm in Fairbury, Nebraska.
Shortly after his arrival at his new host site, WFE received calls from Patrick to say that his new situation was working out well. A couple months later, his host at Livingston Enterprises called WFE and asked if there was a way to receive other J1 participants from Ghana. He told WFE that Patrick was a wonderful young man and was eager to learn everything they had to offer him. Not surprisingly, Patrick was awarded “Employee of the Month” at this host site and was consistently recognized for his strong leadership skills. The host also said that the time they spent together outside of the farm was eye-opening and that he had learned a great deal about Ghana. This host has gone on to accept over a dozen others from Ghana at his business.
Upon his return to Ghana, Patrick was appointed to a position with the Finance Ministry and is currently in the process of being appointed Minister of Youth and Education for Ghana.
Additionally, Patrick has also become WFE’s regional partner. He selects candidates that he believes are most likely to succeed and thrive with a J1 experience with WFE. To date, all of his candidates have been excellent. They arrive with a great sharing attitude, along with a positive outlook on life. He works with WFE to place candidates not only from Ghana, but also from neighboring countries, including Togo, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and other African countries.
Note: Unfortunately, many highly qualified J1 applicants from Ghana and other African countries have been denied visas recently; however, WFE is committed to helping build agricultural skills in developing countries.