Archive for Education

Can we afford not to invest in education?

Read the latest post from our blogger Joely Harris about the importance on education in reducing inequalities.

This summer I joined four staff and twenty five children in a three week expedition in Madagascar. We were blessed with hugely knowledgeable guides, including the self proclaimed “bird nerd” who had mastered over 100 bird calls and was David Attenborough’s very own guide. Theo the “bird nerd” had once been part of a naked tribe that had lived in the national park before it gained its status as such. He educated us on the traditions of the Madagascan tribes and their need for the wood that exists inside the National Park. Deforestation is a humungous issue in Madagascar with one half of its forests disappearing between 1950 to 1985 leaving a meagre 11% of rainforest left today. Theo’s overarching argument as to how to fix this was, (you might have guessed it) education!  Due to being taught how to guide in the national park he could provide for his family without resorting to cutting down wood from the forests. His cousin and nephew are also guides in the forest.

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First Week of Summer School

Our third blog from Steph describes how the St Cecilia Summer School is running.

Last week marked the beginning of Summer School at St. Cecilia’s primary school. The Summer School, which is for pupils in class five and class six, is running throughout the month of August and involves both volunteers and Ghanaian teachers. Each day, pupils have lessons in their core subjects of Maths, Science, English and Citizenship, which are taught by their usual teachers. These lessons are essential as pupils are preparing to take their entry exams for the Junior High School: pupils who don’t pass are held back. Alongside these lessons, pupils also spend up to two sessions per day with the national and international volunteer groups, developing soft skills such as cognitive skills, language and communication and physical development. This year, each week of volunteer sessions has a theme, and last week that was My World. Pupils were able to design their own planets, think about their ambitions for the future and play lots of fun outdoor games. This week we’re looking at Outer Space, and so far pupils have taken part in a space crusade, written songs about the planets and even designed their own rocket ships.

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Alongside the Summer School, there is also the Reading Club, which I am lucky enough to be volunteering in throughout the month. During these sessions, pupils work in small groups with a local or national volunteer, using stories to develop their reading skills and play word games. They also have the chance to take part in one-to-one reading sessions. Volunteers have really enjoyed working on this project, and helping the children to improve: as English is an official language of Ghana, it is crucial that children are able to use and understand it effectively.

As if volunteering in both the Summer School and Reading Club wasn’t enough, Joe, Estefania and Gareth are also running football coaching sessions in the afternoons. They are working with both the local boys’ and girls’ teams alongside their local coach, to help develop and improve their football skills.

On Friday evening, we headed down to Kokrabite for the weekend to relax on the beach, enjoy some reggae and eat a lot of pizza! It was a wonderful way to round off a really busy and successful first week.

Introducing the volunteers

Read our second blog from Stephanie who met our latest bunch of volunteers last week.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks preparing for the Summer School, and most of our international volunteers have finally arrived in Ho! Alex, Amelia, Estefania, Joe and Gareth are all students at Leeds Beckett University, and they are joined by Shoshanna, who studies at University of California- Davis in the US. I had a fun couple of days in Accra going to meet everyone.

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Introducing our Action at Home Coordinator

With funding from LSE Careers, as part of the Santander Universities scheme, KickStart Ghana has appointed Richard Yeboah, BSc in Economic History 2017, on a four week contract as our first Action at Home Coordinator. Richard will be blogging about his experiences during his time with KickStart Ghana.

I came to first hear about KickStart Ghana through a conversation with Dave (co-founder), during an LSE networking event. He gave me a brief insight into the amazing work they do in the Volta Region and immediately I became fascinated by their vision to equip Ghanaians with the resources to fulfil their potential and have every opportunity to succeed.

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When I grow up, I want to be a Teacher…

Our new blogger, Joely Harris, takes the opportunity to introduce herself in her first blog for KickStart Ghana and explain about the importance of education in reducing inequalities so that SDG 10 can be achieved.

My name is Joely Francesca Harris. I am a 22 year old vegetarian prospective Secondary English Teacher about to begin my teacher training at Oxford University in September. At Christmas I cut off ten inches of hair to give away to The Little Princess Trust, raising over £400 for the charity in the process. I regularly volunteer with Frank Water, a fantastic charity that supports clean water sanitation projects in India. My connection with KickStart Ghana began in the summer of 2013 when, through their volunteer programme, I taught at St Cecelia’s Summer School in Ho. I am about to embark on a trip to New York to work with World Merit in their programme Merit360 to help tackle the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These blogs are aiming to look at SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities and how KickStart Ghana is already working towards this goal.

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Gareth Robinson – A Ghana summary

Thank you to Leeds Beckett University for allowing us to share this post. The original can be seen on their website.

Gareth Robinson, second year Sport and Exercise Science student, spent six weeks making a difference last summer in Ho, Ghana.

Student welcomed into Ghanaian culture during volunteering trip

Gareth volunteered on a joint project between Leeds Beckett University and KickStart Ghana during the summer of 2015. Here is what Gareth had to say about his experience.
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Assisting Coco to go on to further education

We are delighted to announce that KickStart Ghana is assisting Eric Coco Mawuenyegah, a KickStart Ghana board member, with his school fees to attend Ho Polytechnic. Coco has been volunteering for KickStart Ghana for five years now, most recently as Volunteer Coordinator, helping to recruit and manage Ghanaian volunteers. Coco had the following to say.

IMG-20151216-WA0003“Look at me, you see a professional right?!? Hahah. Well not yet, this is me after my lectures.

When I was least expecting to be back studying, though still dreaming of the possibility, KickStart Ghana chose this moment to make this dream come true.

I feel very privileged and lucky to be part of KickStart Ghana’s plans of raising the education standards in the Volta Region of Ghana.

I’m pursuing my HND in ICT at Ho Polytechnic, which will soon become Ho Polytechnic University. This is possible because KickStart Ghana decided to give me a scholarship. I can boldly say that with KickStart Ghana I have not just changed a chapter of my life but I have changed the whole book! I am writing a new life story.”

Thank you to all of KickStart Ghana’s supporters for working with us to help people like Coco achieve his potential.

If you would like to support us in helping others please consider setting up a regular donationIMG-20151216-WA0002.

Volunteerism in Ghana: Alive and well

One of our trustees, Dave Coles, was in Ghana recently, and he was glad to see more initiatives involving Ghanaians in volunteering. Read his original entry on his blog.

Volunteering in Ghana has been a big industry for a long time now. But when people think of volunteers in Ghana they often think of people flying from all over the world to work on a number of projects (some good and some not so good). However, over the last couple of years we’ve seen an increase in the recognition and promotion of Ghanaians volunteering. This can is a positive development and something that deserves to be highlighted.
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First week of Summer School

The latest blog from our Volunteer Coordinator, Kerry.

Summer School

Summer school started on Monday 3 August 2015. I joined the volunteers for the first day to ensure everyone was in the right place. As the volunteers and I had had a week to prepare for summer school, they were keen to get started, so there was a pleasant mix of excitement and anticipation on that first day; the volunteers were more than ready to get stuck in.
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Buses and summer school

A new post from our 2015 Volunteer Coordinator, Kerry.

St Cecilia’s School

In preparation for the volunteers arriving and starting summer school, I was invited to St Cecelia’s (our partner school) to discuss the final details such as class sizes etc. I went with Dan, KSG’s Chair of Trustees in Ghana, Coco, the Ghanaian Volunteer Coordinator and Divine, one of KSG’s Ghanaian Trustees and fellow volunteer at the summer school.

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