Tag Archive for education

Fire and Floods in Accra – What have we learnt?

Chris Minch is studying his MSc in Emerging Economies and international Development at KCL, where his interests include the role of innovation in sustainable development, and the sources of corruption. He has been involved with KickStart Ghana for 2 years and here he looks at the recent tragedy that has unfolded in Ghana.

Last Thursday, June 4th, Ghana experienced its worst disaster in nearly 15 years. As people sought shelter from severe flooding and torrential rain under the awning of a large petrol station, a fire broke out and the explosion that followed killed more than 150 people in the vicinity. Added to the 25 people who had died as a direct result of the flooding in the lead up to the explosion, the past week has been one of Ghana’s saddest and most tumultuous in living memory.

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#UpForSchool – add your support

At KickStart Ghana we’re showing our support for #UpForSchool – a global campaign to get every child into school and learning. Add your signature to put pressure on governments, politicians and leaders to take education seriously and make it so that all out-of-school children get to gain their right to a safe education before the end of 2015.

The #UpForSchool campaign is set to be the biggest petition ever, with an aim of reaching 34 million signatures worldwide! Add your signature now!

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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2014 KickStart Ghana review

What a year it has been for KickStart Ghana! Another successful summer school combing the best of Ghanaian teachers working alongside UK and Ghanaian volunteers. The ever popular reading club at St Cecilia school helping embed a love for literature amongst young Ghanaians. Dynamo FC has gone from strength to strength and other schools have continued to benefit from sporting equipment.

We also ran our first educational trip with the Essex Army Cadets, pairing up young people from the UK and Ghana to learn about each other and help create a new generation of global citizens.

In the UK we received funding from Total and The Youth Funding Network. We also had an incredible fundraiser, hosted by Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, which raised over £3,000 and introduced lots of people to some yummy Ghanaian recipes and flavours. We recruited two new trustees and can’t wait to work with them next year.

Finally, we had our softball team continuing to take on the big boys in the charity softball league.

We’d like to thank our fundraisers, supporters, volunteers and partners for making 2014 a wonderful year for the charity. We have plans to make 2015 even bigger and better so watch this space.

Check out some of our favourite photos below for our year in review.

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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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Happy International Day of the Girl

A new post from our blogger Emily Laramy on girl’s rights and why they are so important.

Across the globe, girls’ rights are threatened.

Worldwide 250 million girls live in poverty. Growing up in poverty exposes girls to multiple vulnerabilities, in fact by the age of 12 a girl in poverty is at high risk.

In the developing world, one in seven girls are forced into marriage by their 15th birthday. Marrying this young makes girls 5 times more likely to die in childbirth. Girls are also vulnerable to domestic and sexual violence with nearly half of all sexual assaults worldwide taking place against girls aged 15 and younger.Ghana day of the girl

Today is International Day of the Girl. Not only am I deeply passionate about protecting children’s rights, I am also a fervent advocate for women’s rights. I strongly believe that if we invest in girls we can create an incredible ripple effect that will bring about a powerful lasting change.

Providing a girl with access to education, vocational training, health care and a safe environment free of violence, gives her the potential not only to raise her standard of living , but also that of her family and her community. Whether it is deciding how the household income is spent or determining how the country is run, women have the right to an equal say in all matters that impact on their lives and how we invest in girls is key.

In the developing world, 1 in 5 girls don’t currently attend school. Through KickStart Ghana’s work, children receive educational opportunities, including access to better school facilities, literacy skills, and equipment. Studies show that if a girl receives 7 years of education, on average she marries 4 years later. Furthermore, for every year of schooling her earning power increases by 10% to 20%.

Want to change the world? Invest in the lives of girls, making their education a top priority.

 

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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Introducing Ruth Taylor, our 2014 Volunteer Coordinator

We were delighted when Ruth agreed to sign up as our 2014 Volunteer Coordinator. She’s volunteered with KickStart Ghana twice before and knows the charity and the people we work with really well. Through her job at Student Hubs, running Impact International, she has become a well known expert on best practice within the international volunteering sector.

Over the summer she will be supporting our volunteers to make sure that they can really make an impact on our projects, including the 2014 summer school and reading club and coaching at Dynamo FC. She’ll also be evaluating our impact and designing a new post-volunteering handbook for volunteers.

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

Standing on the veranda of the new volunteer house in Ho, I look out over lush green bush and the Adaklu Mountain which dominates the skyline. It’s been nearly 3 years since I was last in Ghana and I’m surprised at how immediately I feel at home. From my first visit to this incredible, West African paradise, as a young and fresh-faced 18 year old back in 2010, the spirit and dynamism of the country has never left me. It’s in the music, the food, the smiling and welcoming people you meet at every turn, even the sweet and aromatic air you breathe – everything about Ghana is intoxicatingly addictive and I find myself immensely happy and deeply contented at being back.
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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