Tag Archive for Football

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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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 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.

DSC_0211 DSC_0210 DSC_0166 DSC_0158 DSC_0148 DSC_0143 DSC_0130 DSC_0070 DSC_0056 10610573_332752840182889_2632006568804091379_n 10513491_325089374282569_646710612514410536_n 10444663_365319986926174_3054394215005155437_n 10396296_365320003592839_3794578614694290528_n 10360630_363339243790915_3991847538329032628_n

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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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