4H is an international organization for children and young people. The organization was founded in 1902 in Ohio, USA. The name of the organization comes from the four English words head, hands, heart and health (in German about: head, hand, heart and health). The organization 4H does not exist in Germany, but with the rural youth comparable.


The original goals of the politically and religiously unbound 4H organization were to reduce unemployment and malaise of the young people and to inhibit the growing population movement from the countryside to the city. The organization was trying to achieve their goals through the promotion of village community, and training in agricultural and domestic sectors of the economy. She gave young people the opportunity for learning skills that are needed in everyday life and on the labor market. Young people who live in the country, were their first target group, and 4H tried to show them that it is possible to earn a living outside the major cities. In the beginning all events, clubs and training was directed at young people in the country, but today, all children and young people, wherever they live, take part in the different activities.

Currently 4H is represented in more than 80 countries and has over 80,000 local groups. The local organizations are self-employed, but they cooperate with each other, among other things by the IFYE exchange program (International Four -H Youth Exchange).

Many companies like Toyota and Coca -Cola support 4H, as flow donations from individuals.


The core idea of 4H is to support a balanced growing up of children and young people and teach them to take responsibility. The organization estimates enterprise, justice, tolerance, busyness, initiative and ability to cooperate. The main issues are education in internationalism, social interaction, and environmental education.

Cooperation with schools

4H organized in collaboration with schools afternoon clubs, competitions, courses and training. Most often treat the competitions and training issues such as nature and the environment, enterprise and tolerance.


The volunteers at the 4H organization have many different roles. You can route or make a 4H youth exchange accommodation available, for example, clubs, camps, courses and events. You can also at the Central Office of a local organization working in order to develop new ideas.


In the organization, there are many different clubs for children and young people. The most popular are the 4H- afternoon clubs, which are carried out in many 4H- member countries. The principle of the afternoon club is learning by doing. The young people who visit the 4H- afternoon clubs, learn, among other things cook, care for pets, tinker and learn about other cultures.

Many clubs also focus on a main theme, so there are, for example, cooking, nature, horses, handmade and international clubs.


4H organized various trainings and courses for young people. The topics of the courses vary to some extent in the member countries. There are e.g. Club manager, camp director and Dogsitter training. Also a senior and friendship service is one of the activities of 4H. This involves, for example, in helping older people shopping or lonely young to be a friend.


The 4H organizations from different countries cooperate with each other through the IFYE exchange program (International Four -H Youth Exchange). Many local organizations there is the possibility to travel to a host family for a few weeks or for two to three months abroad.

Local organizations also organize international summer camps and tours in different countries. Many of them also make development cooperation, including with countries in Africa.