Archive for 31 July 2013

Summer School 2013

Summer school

This week saw the launch of the first ever KickStart Ghana summer school, working in partnership with St Cecilia School. KickStart Ghana have provided a grants for four teachers to be employed over the holidays and lunch to be provided for each of the 80 children who will attend daily. Class sizes will be at 20, half of the national average in Ghana during term time.

The children attending are all in year 6 and will be moving on to Junior High School next year, the equivalent of a UK secondary school. Working with Ms Alorbi (St Cecilia’s headmistress). the PTA and school management team, these were identified as the children who would benefit most from a summer’s tuition. They will be taught English, Maths, Science and Citizenship by the Ghanaian teachers.

We have also recruited 14 volunteers; a mixture of Brits, Irish, Ghanaian and Togolese to run further classes focusing on four key areas:

  • Physical development
  • Social and emotional development
  • Language and communication skills and
  • Cognitive development.

These lessons are designed to supplement the Ghanaian curriculum and encourage the children to develop in a holistic manner.

On the first day we asked the children what they were looking forward to at the summer school. We received the following answers:

“I look forward to spending time with my friends.”

“I look forward to learning from the teachers.”

“I am excited to meet new people.”

At KickStart Ghana we’re incredibly excited by the launch of this school and we look forward to keeping our supporters up to date with its successes.

Introducing our 2013 Assistant Volunteer Coordinator

We’ve created a new role at KickStart Ghana this year, the Assistant Volunteer Coordinator. This is to help manage our volunteers in Ghana; whether that is meeting them from the airport, helping them on their placement or answering any Ghana related questions that they may have!

We recruited Chris Minch to do this role early in 2013 and he arrived in Ghana last week. He’ll be with us until the middle of September and he’ll be regularly blogging about living and working in Ghana. Here is his first blog introducing himself.

Hi, my name is Chris Minch and I’m working with Kickstart Ghana this summer as the Assistant Volunteer Co-ordinator. I’m writing this blog post mainly to introduce myself and describe what I’m doing in Ghana in the first place, but hopefully there will be slightly more exciting and insightful posts to come as the summer develops.

So, firstly, the basics. I’m 22 years old and I’m from Dublin, Ireland. I just graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a degree in economics and psychology, so come September, I suppose I’ll have to be on the hunt for some sort of job in the big bad world. I have a massive interest in international development and this is something that I will hopefully be able to find work in when I get back to Ireland.

Three years ago, I visited Ghana for six weeks. Four of those weeks were spent volunteering in a remote village called Ve Hoeme, about an hour and a half away from Ho. There I was part of a group working on building a sanitation block and teaching in the local school. I spent the other two weeks travelling around Ghana and taking in its many cultural and natural delights. Whether it was sleeping under the stars on the roof of a hostel in Larabanga or chilling in a hammock on Busua beach, I found that Ghana has something to suit everybody’s taste and I instantly fell in love with the country.

It was during these six weeks that I got to know a few of the guys working with the organisation Dave Squared Volunteering, now called Kickstart Ghana. At the time, I was just enjoying their company in the moment, along with getting to know all the other people I was volunteering with. However, here I am though, back in Ghana three years later looking forward to a great summer working with Kickstart Ghana in Ho. So a lot more came out of getting to know them then I could have ever hoped for. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity and excited to get back in to the Ghanaian way of life!

A busy two weeks

Two weeks already? Ghana has a fantastic way of making time go incredibly slow and fast at the same time. When you are waiting for a tro-tro (mini bus) to fill up, knocking back the unwanted offers of meat on a stick, in the mid-day heat and humidity it feels like the seconds are minutes and the minutes are hours. However, it barely feels like any time at all since Dave Thorp and I set down at Kotoka airport at 5am on June 18th. He’s currently in the air heading back to the UK so now seems like a good time to evaluate some of the work we’ve done so far.