Archive for Overseas Volunteering

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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Introducing our 2016 Volunteer Coordinator

We were delighted when Stephanie Macwilliam agreed to sign up as our 2016 Volunteer Coordinator. Having completed TeachFirst and now the Course and Programme Co-ordinator, Children People and Young Families at The National Communities Resource Centre at Trafford Hall we she would be fantastically qualified to volunteer with KickStart Ghana.

Over the summer she will be supporting our volunteers to make sure that they can really make an impact on our projects, including the 2016 summer school and reading club and coaching at Dynamo FC. She’ll also be evaluating our impact and working closely with the Ghanaian board on other projects.

She’s going to be blogging about her experiences over the summer and below is her first. We hope you enjoy.

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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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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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Touring Accra

The third blog of the summer from our 2015 Volunteer Coordinator, Kerry.

Off the Tourist Track – Nima Highway Tours

Located just off the Ring Road close to the heart of Accra, you enter into a series of slums and markets. One of these villages is Nima. I admit that I had never heard of the village before and had no idea what to expect when I booked us on to the tour. It turned out to be an eye-opening experience…

Gareth, Faith and I departed from a taxi at Nima Roundabout to find a man waving at us – I hoped that this would be Charles, the tour guide. Charles is local to the town and has lived there all his life. He’s aim is to show tourists, and anyone that is interested, what life is really like, illustrating that people work hard in tough conditions. You can find out more on his Facebook page.

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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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