Archive for Sport

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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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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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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Copa90’s Global Talent Search

Copa 90

Are you passionate about football? Think you have what it takes to represent Africa in telling football stories to the world? Then this competition is for you.

Copa90 are looking for six football fanatics, one from each continent, to tell football stories from around the globe. At the moment they have loads of entries but they are missing ones from the most passionate football country on the planet, Ghana!

At KickStart Ghana we know how important football is to Ghanaians. It doesn’t matter if you were born in Accra, Ho or Tamale, whether you are male or female or if you are young or old. Everything stops when when the Black Stars step on to the pitch.

We would love to see a Ghanaian represent Africa as part of Copa90’s work. To enter you need to make a short video detailing why you think you would be the best person for the job and upload it to YouTube. Entries close on 9th August 2015.

The full details and how to enter can be found on the Copa90 website.

2014 Summer School review

The KickStart Ghana summer school is one our favourite projects. In 2014 we worked with St Cecilia School to offer 70 of their year 6 children the chance to receive extra-curricular and non-compulsary education. This took for the form of curriculum lessons with Ghanaian teachers and extra-curricular lessons with volunteers. We have been delighted with the feedback from students and teachers alike and the full report can be read here.

Highlights include:

  • 100% of the children felt they learnt a lot during the school
  • 97% look forward to continuing their educations
  • 93% would like to return to summer school next year
  • Teachers felt that both they and the students learnt a lot during the school.

We would like to say a particularly big thank you to YTFN and the Total Foundation for their support of our summer club.

 

 

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Roman Christoforou – A Ghana summary

Roman volunteered with KickStart Ghana at our summer school and coaching with Dynamo FC during the summer of 2014. Here are his thoughts on his trip, the joys of fundraising and international volunteering. The following is taken from his blog.

So I’m back to where I started: by myself in a double bed with the covers annoyingly tucked under it so that you feel trapped and claustrophobic and frustrated, in a luxurious free hotel in Cairo, courtesy of Egyptair. The start of our trip was just under two months ago, but the start of the whole journey was way before then.

The first time I heard of the IP Project in Ghana was in December, where I saw an email advertising for project leaders to go to Ghana for the summer. I considered it for about two seconds, made a mental note to follow up on it and then carried on scrolling. The next time I heard about it, my flatmate and good friend Alex was telling me that he’d got this leader thing in Ghana. I congratulated him, as even at that time I could feel he would be a good candidate, and threw the thing from my mind.

A couple of months later, maybe in early February, Alex knocked on my door and asked why I didn’t join the team anyway. Good question. By that time applications were closed but apparently the project needed another person with coaching qualifications, so Alex turned (probably as last resort) to me.
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The power of sport in combating child poverty

Dynamo warm up

Every child deserves a chance of a bright future. For a child in poverty the stark reality is they may never have that chance. Worldwide an estimated 600 million children live in extreme poverty. For these children it’s not just their physical situation that negatively affects them. Poverty tells a child they are worthless, unloved and forgotten, robbing them of their hopes and dreams. Depriving them of a childhood.

Sport is a fundamental part of many cultures and is intrinsically linked to childhood. Sport has an ability to break down barriers, allowing even the poorest, most vulnerable child a chance to have fun and the ability to regain their childhood. Sport is by no means the single solution to ending child poverty however it can be a powerful tool if used within a wider toolkit.

The benefits of sport reach well beyond physical wellbeing. Through sporting activities children learn skills such as self-confidence, teamwork, fair play, respect and self-esteem. This in turn impacts on their education. Studies show children who participate in physical activities preform better at school and are more engaged, staying in school for longer. In a country such as Ghana where over 35 percent of children drop out before they reach junior secondary this is truly significant.

Student Engagement doesn’t just end in the classroom. Children who play sport are also more likely to be community minded, engage in community activities and go on to be leaders within their communities. During the time KickStart Ghana has been working in the Volta region we have seen children from our programs go on to lead the training sessions and coach younger players. This is all made possible though the commitment from the local communities and volunteers who have dedicated thousands of hours of volunteering and fundraising over the last seven years.

For many children in Ghana and across the world, sport gives them that brief moment to escape from the reality of poverty, giving them an opportunity to be a child again. The power of sport cannot be underestimated and it is why it is at the heart of what we do here at KickStart Ghana.

Written by Emily Laramy.

Volunteering Abroad with Children: A game of double standards?

Here is the second blog entry from our 2014 Volunteer Coordinator, Ruth Taylor.

Let me ask you. How many times have you logged onto Facebook and been greeted with a newly-updated profile picture of one of your friends, volunteer-smile intact, affectionately cuddling a small, rather grubby-looking child, from an unknown African nation? Once? Twice? Too many times to recall?

If you haven’t experienced it personally, you’ll probably be aware of the growing phenomenon sweeping schools, colleges and Universities across the Western world. In search of adventure and a desire to break normalcy, our young people, during their gap years or summer holidays, are jetting off to volunteer (more often than not, with children) in countries across the Global South… It’s become a craze. Like over-reliance on Apple products and an addiction to Starbucks, voluntourism is becoming something by which this generation is being defined. It’s almost come to be seen as a rite of passage (albeit for the relatively well-off) – something you do before, during or after University. Something which will ‘set you apart’ and help you land your £40k-starting-salary graduate job.
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New KickStart Ghana videos

We are delighted to release two new videos highlighting some of the work that we have been doing with local organisations in the Volta Region.

The videos were produced by the amazing JointSight production company who gave their time to us as volunteers.

We wanted the videos to highlight the work that KickStart Ghana have been doing and showcase Ghana at it’s best. We are delighted with the results.

If you want to help make a difference to young people in Ghana consider making a donation today. We promise you won’t regret it.

KickStart Ghana and education


KickStart Ghana and sport