Tag Archive for Volunteer coordinator

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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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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“Welcome to Ghana” – Woezor!

We were delighted when Kerry agreed to sign up as our 2015 Volunteer Coordinator. She’s volunteered with KickStart Ghana before and knows the charity and the people we work with really well. Through being Chair at Winant Clayton and being heavily involved at Exeter University she has an excellent knowledge of volunteering.

Over the summer she will be supporting our volunteers to make sure that they can really make an impact on our projects, including the 2015 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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International Volunteering: A Shift in Thinking

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

As I sit here writing this blog (my third for KickStart Ghana), the world is facing a reality not ever experienced before. The human race, for the first time in history, is with the means to eradicate poverty from the face of the earth. We have the medicine, we have the knowledge, we have the money. All that remains to be seen is whether or not we have the will.

From my previous two posts, you’d be excused if you thought I’m some kind of hyper-critic of international volunteering in all its many forms – perhaps you even think I’d be on the side of seeing the discontinuation of the sector as a whole. Although, not entirely wrong, there is little I agree with more than the hugely transformative experience which volunteering abroad can bring about. If you want to learn about another culture and experience it first hand, if you want to form and develop relationships which span borders and oceans, if you want your acceptance of the status quo to be challenged wholeheartedly and your worldview to undergo detox and replenishment a thousand-fold, then volunteering overseas is your thing. Not all projects are going to tick the boxes – and of course much onus is on the mentality of the volunteer themselves and their willingness to be tried and tested – but when done right, when done in partnership and with longevity in mind, I truly believe that volunteering abroad has the potential to usher in a new, truly global form of citizenship whose repercussions could see the realities we so often choose to push to the back of our minds, label as ‘someone else’s responsibility’, or allow to cripple us under their immensity, be slowly but surely changed until the time when the world is spinning on a different type of axis – one of true equality, where the playing fields are level and people of all nations have every opportunity to succeed.

International volunteering is complicated – far more than the majority of people care to admit or are even aware of – and although, as a sector, we seem to have manoeuvred ourselves into a decidedly prickly corner, messing with people’s lives and livelihoods in the name of a current ‘Western trend,’ I still believe that out of the mire could come something beautiful.
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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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