VISIONS participants will do construction work during the morning hours. Some afternoons you will spend time with the 50-plus kids who currently receive the support of one house mother and four other staff. While the children graciously, patiently anticip
- Accra, Ghana
- Program Type:
- Study Abroad
- Degree Level:
- Program Description:
- Akwaaba ("welcome") is the word you will hear often during your month in Ghana. Ghanaians are renowned for their hospitality, warmth, ready smiles, easy laughter, and a love of festivals. English is the official language, and most people also speak at least one local language. Ethnic backgrounds, languages (more than 70), topography, and general ways of life are as diverse and colorful as the ceremonial textiles integral to Ghanaian culture.
Europeans first staked colonial claims to Ghana in the 15th Century with the Portuguese leading the way, followed by the Dutch and eventually English, Danish, Swedish, and Spanish traders and merchants. All descended upon Ghana for the gold and ivory, and then for the slave trade. Eventually, Ghana, came under British rule.
Along the Cape Coast are ruins of forts and castles, spectral remnants of the past and reminders of what Ghanaians endured before their country became the first sub-Saharan African nation to gain independence in 1957. Today, Ghana is a widely regarded pillar of economic and political stability in the region. Because it has not succumbed to ethnic conflicts and civil wars, Ghana has been depended upon as a peace-keeping nation in West Africa. Elections have been relatively democratic since 1992. The Commonwealth Press Union has described Ghana's media as "one of the most unfettered" on the continent. Roughly 80% of Ghanaian children attend school, a notably higher percentage than in most other West African countries.
VISIONS participants will do construction work during the morning hours. Some afternoons you will spend time with the 50-plus kids who currently receive the support of one house mother and four other staff. While the children graciously, patiently anticipate our arrival. They will welcome you enthusiastically, to say the least. There will be a few other projects locally in partnership with the Joy Family Association, an NGO doing public health outreach. Weekends and some afternoons after work we will spend with local friends. We will play games with local kids and visit families' homes to learn about their culture and traditions. You will learn traditional Kente textile-making with a weaving master, batik dying, and drumming. Community leaders and nonprofit directors will talk with us to explain the work they do for their country. Exploring the rich, mountainous Volta Region is a priority. There will be excursions to main attractions such as Kumasi (the seat of the Ashanti Kingdom), Mole National Park for wildlife viewing, the Cape Coast, gold mines and slave forts, historic castles, the country's tallest waterfall, and the world's largest artificial lake, Lake Volta!
- Setting Description:
- While Ghana enjoys a relatively secure place in the region, there is widespread need for basic infrastructure and educational support. Our service in Ghana focuses on the youth of the Volta Region where we are home-based in the town of Hohoe. Most of our work projects take place at an orphanage about seven miles outside of the town center. The orphanage has an ambitious long-range plan: renovations and additions to the existing dormitories; construction of a clinic, associated school, and other facilities; the creation of a garden and an area to raise animals. The orphanage has been granted land for these expansions, but resources for moving forward have been limited.
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