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VOLUNTEER TEACHING & EDUCATION PROJECT IN GHANA

 

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INTRODUCTION GHANA TEACHING AND EDUCATION

Students in Ghana value any opportunity to learn, but they often find themselves in schools with severely under-resourced classrooms and few or no teaching staff. The KIVOLEX Education & Literacy Project works to improve education for children by filling classrooms with song, educational play, and hands-on activities. As a volunteer, you can help students learn English language skills in preparation for secondary school, as well as math, geography, and science. Be the motivation for the next generation of teachers, scientists, and entrepreneurs.

While the Ghana Education Service offers a government-mandated curriculum for early childhood and primary school education, schools lack the resources and teachers for proper implementation. Students, particularly those with mild disabilities, do not receive individual assessments or one-on-one attention that is necessary to maximize their educational outcomes. KIVOLEX volunteers work closely with schools to implement curricula, provide individual attention, English training, and to provide experiential learning techniques to students who are typically taught solely through rote memorization. A number of schools have requested a variety of infrastructure projects suitable for groups of volunteers, such as libraries, educational murals and computer labs.

 

TEACHING AND EDUCATION VOLUNTEERING IN GHANA

teaching and education volunteer projects ghana

The development of education in Ghana is closely tied to the sociopolitical changes that have taken place from colonial times to the

present day. The transformation processes have seen the education

system expand from the first castle schools (which only targeted

populations linked with the social, economic and religious interests

of the early missionaries, colonialists and adventurers) to the spread

of formal education across the country, including access to free

schooling, the inclusion of technical and vocational education, and

improved teacher training.

 

The key focal areas of education development in Ghana are

contained in the Education Strategic Plan 2010–2020. The Strategic

Plan identifies access, quality and management as the main policy

drivers determining priority interventions. In addition, having

realised the importance of science and technology over the years,

the government has targeted these as priority areas for

improvement.

Some important interventions currently being implemented are

focused largely on the improvement of basic education in response

to internationally agreed development goals, such as the

Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the Education for All

(EFA) Dakar Principles. These include provision of infrastructure,

promoting gender equity, provision of Capitation Grants for

primary schools1

, provision of free textbooks, provision of free

school uniforms for children from poor households, and initiating

Best Teacher award schemes for teachers in pre-tertiary institutions.

In addition, the government has created special teacher motivation

packages for teachers working in hard-to-reach and deprived areas,

and for teachers of maths and science, as well as those in technical

and vocational education.

 

 

 

VOICE FROM GHANA COMMUNITY

“The KIVOLEX volunteers have a very positive impact on my organization because they give pupils a reason to always be present in school and ready to learn.”

“The love and empathy exhibited towards the students causes our school and the community to show more love and care for these children, too. The volunteers bring the school and the community together.”

Volunteers help to teach English and they promote cultural exchange and self-expression among the students.”

“The KIVOLEX volunteers have a very positive impact on my organization because they give pupils a reason to always be present in school and ready to learn.”

“The love and empathy exhibited towards the students causes our school and the community to show more love and care for these children, too. The volunteers bring the school and the community together.”

“Volunteers help to teach English and they promote cultural exchange and self-expression among the students.”

 

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN GHANA

volunteer cultural activities abroad

 

JOIN A DANCE CIRCLE

The local community puts on an exclusive collaborative presentation just for KIVOLEX volunteers to formally welcome you, and you’ll get to join in on a traditional drum and dance circle, a very important cultural practice for the Ghanaian people.

WEAVE A KENTE CLOTH

Typically reserved for special occasions, the kente cloth has a long tradition in Ghana, and is said to have initiated from the observation of spiders creating their webs. Work with local artisans to help with the creation of a kente cloth, which can take months to complete, as you learn about the colorful meanings of these fabrics.

TOUR HO

Get to know your new home away from home on a KIVOLEX staff-guided walking tour of Ho. Staff will be sure to call out all points of interest including silversmiths, money exchange sites, ice cream shops, and internet cafes. The tour ends at the weekly outdoor market where you’ll catch your first glimpse of the ubiquitous handmade batik fabrics. Purchase some eye-catching fabric to bring over to the local seamstress and she will inexpensively transform it into a one of a kind souvenir.

SWIM IN THE WLI WATERFALL

Plunge into a natural pool at the base of the Wli Waterfall, the highest waterfall in West Africa. You’ll take a short hike to the falls where you’ll witness the rainbows forming in the mist, and then you’ll paddle out to experience the refreshing spray of the falls up close. After drying off, you’ll stop by one of the best souvenir spots in Ghana for a chance to buy wood carvings and batik clothes directly from the artisans who crafted them.

LEARN TO SPEAK EWE

Although English is Ghana’s official language, you’ll still have the opportunity to learn Ewe, the mother tongue of Ghana’s Volta Region and neighboring Togo. After just one round of biweekly classes held at your Home-Base, you’ll be ready to greet your new neighbors in the local language

DYE BATIK FABRIC

Ghanaian folklore isn’t a strictly oral tradition; it’s conveyed through traditional “adinkra” symbols as well. You’ll quickly begin to notice adinkra in pottery, wood work, business logos, and fabrics. Visit a local seamstress to learn about these symbols, as well as the traditional batik process for fabric dyeing. Make your own batik handkerchief as a small but meaningful keepsake of all you’ve learned and seen.

HIKE IN AMEDZOFE

While your Home-Base can be found at the end of a dirt road, just 45 minutes away, you’ll find lush mountain landscapes. Try your hand at scenic Mount Gemi, or challenge yourself with Mount Adaklu, within view of your home in Ho.

FREE TIME IN GHANA

SLEEP IN THE TREETOPS

You didn’t realize Ghana has rainforests? Surprise! Explore Ghana’s most accessible animal haven, Kakum National Park. Scale the treetops on Ghana’s only canopy tour and keep your eyes peeled for monkeys and birds. For an extra dose of adventure, and perhaps even a super-rare glimpse of an elephant, camp out in one of the tree houses scattered throughout the park.

MEET THE SACRED MONKEYS OF TAFI ATOME

According to legend, when the residents of Tafi Atome moved almost 200 years ago, monkeys were seen in the nearby sacred forests that they believe had followed them on their journey. Considered ‘representatives of gods’, the people of this region protected the monkeys and the heritage of their sacred grove. Today, you can visit these friendly inhabitants and try your hand at feeding them a banana!

FISH AMONG THE PALM TREES

Along the palm tree lined shores of the Volta Region, local fishermen launch their boats at dawn to make a living on their daily catch. As you wait for the boats to return for the evening, there’s plenty of opportunities to enjoy water sports, stroll through the sacred woods, or even visit a crocodile farm!

DISCOVER GHANA’S WILDLIFE

Have you ever met a genet? What about a western kob, grey duiker, bushbuck, serval, or civet? These unique animals, as well as baboons and monkeys, make their home at the Volta Region’s Shai Hills Game Reserve and Quarry, along with 175 species of birds. So take a trip and discover your new favorite animal!

ENJOY LIFE IN ACCRA

If you find yourself missing the niceties of urban life, Accra is the place! Ghana’s capital city provides a striking contrast to Hohoe’s small-town feel. Slip into the air conditioned mall for a movie or a snack from the food court, and find yourself surrounded by hip young urbanites clad in leather pants and high heels. For a bit of culture, explore Accra’s museums or wander through one of the outdoor weekend markets.

BOAT ACROSS LAKE VOLTA

Lake Volta, one of the world’s largest man-made lakes, dominates the landscape of eastern Ghana at over 3,000 square miles. Boat across Lake Volta and watch as fishermen tow in the day’s catch. Check out some of the recreational facilities lining Volta’s shores, and even go for a refreshing swim in the lake!

DINE IN HO

In a small town like Ho, every day brings a new opportunity to engage with local people. Practice your Ewe language skills by greeting new neighbors, and don’t be afraid to accept a friendly dinner invitation from a new friend. After dinner, hail down a Fan Ice bicyclist to buy some ice cream treats, or get a coffee from a man vending from his cart. Next, make your way to a local watering hole to sip a cold drink and huddle around a televised soccer game with new friends.

DESIGN A GHANAIAN BEAD

Beading is taken to new levels at the Cedi Bead Factory, where artisans use recycled glass bottles to create unique beads sold across the world. If you’re looking to up your own bead craftsmanship, stay overnight and create your own bead designs.

VENTURE INTO TOGO

The present day Volta Region of Ghana, along with neighboring Togo, was once part of a large German protectorate called “Togoland.” While the area was divided by post-WWI arbitration, eastern Ghanaians and Togolese still share the same heritage, culture, and language, and many local people travel across borders to visit friends and relatives. Once you’ve found your way around Ghana’s Volta Region, cross the border to Togo for an international experience with a familiar feel.

 

HOME BASE ACCOMMODATION IN GHANA

Sitting atop a hill in a safe, residential community, your KIVOLEX Home-Base in Ghana offers beautiful views and your very own mango tree! Common areas are furnished with plenty of chairs and couches that are decorated with bright batik fabrics. Enjoy the evening breeze on the patio with fellow volunteers or bring out a book for some quiet time. Living areas are communal with plenty of space to keep your belongings. Each bed also has a mosquito net, so we’ve got you covered, literally.

During your stay, you’ll feast on a blend of healthy Ghanaian cuisine. If you’re not “big on spicy,” the KIVOLEX cook will turn it down a notch or two. Typical meals include plenty of starches like pasta, potatoes, and some new favorites like cassava and plantains mashed into fufu and banku — Ghanaian specialties, and fresh fruit to sweeten each dish. At meals, you’ll have the option to use silverware, but give the traditional way a try by using your hands to sop up a helping of homemade stew with your fufu.

 

WORDS FROM OUR REPRESENTATIVE IN GHANA

I am committed to the protection of children through education and opportunities to rise from poverty.

Growing up in small town in Ghana with my grandparents, I have seen the vulnerability that comes from being raised in poverty and not having opportunities for education. I was fortunate to have parents who believed in the value of education, and attended a Technical School to further my talents in electronics. However, it was KIVOLEX volunteers who motivated me, as a young man, to follow my passions and goals of attending university to establish a career in social justice and change.

In Ghana, over 28% of the population lives in poverty at under $1 per day. With schools that are too often underfunded and overcrowded, the need for individual attention, guidance, and encouragement to children pursuing their dreams is key to a brighter future. I am committed, with KIVOLEX volunteers, to improving the possibilities for each child in my community.

 

 

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