Tag Archive for Achievements

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


2012-13 KickStart Ghana annual report

KickStart Ghana are taking strides to ensure that the people of the Volta Region, in Ghana, can fulfil their potential and have every opportunity to succeed. We are doing this through the promotion of education and physical activity.

We are extremely pleased with the work of our staff and volunteers, both in the UK and Ghana and we can’t thank our supporters enough for their work over the past year.

We’re delighted to share the KickStart Ghana Annual Report 2012-13.

Community Action volunteering with KickStart Ghana 2013

Check out this brilliant video made by Will Bowditch showing what Exeter Community Action’s volunteers working in Ghana this summer got up to.

KickStart Ghana Summer School feedback

Last summer we ran our first summer school in conjunction with St Cecilia’s School. We were delighted with the results and so were the school management. We spoke to headmistress Madame Al’orbi (recently retired) about her thoughts on how the school had gone.

What do you enjoy about teaching?

I have been teaching for 41 years! I have enjoyed teaching students and I like it when they become useful citizens of society and when I see them achieve their dreams. It gives me joy and satisfaction. This means my input has given a very good dividend.

How do you think that the summer school has gone and why?

Very well! It has been full of activity especially from the KickStart Ghana end. It has been activity orientated, exciting. People are psychologically present in the classroom. That is reflected in the attendance.

My teachers’ methodology has learnt from your volunteers, especially how they present their lessons. We have learnt from them. They have a lot of learning and teaching materials, the lessons are rich.
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Chris Minch – 2013 Assistant Volunteer Coordinator

Chris was KickStart Ghana’s Assistant Volunteer Coordinator for the summer of 2013. He spent almost three months in Ghana and his work ranged from managing volunteers, conducting interviews, helping organise the summer school, coaching at Dynamo FC and assisting the financial administration. We couldn’t have asked for someone better and we were delighted with his work and attitude. We caught up with Chris to find out his thoughts on the summer.

Q. Why did you choose to volunteer with KickStart Ghana?

I chose to volunteer with KSG for a couple of reasons. Initially, it was a bit opportunistic because I was at a loose end after I finished my degree and was looking for something to do for the summer. However, as soon as I saw that there was an opportunity to work with KSG I jumped on it. I knew if I went with KSG the summer would be extremely worthwhile, both in terms of my own personal experience and in playing a role in carrying some extremely helpful work in a community that it benefits.
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Summer school, football coaching and a haircut

Apologies for the delay in the latest blog post, but since I last wrote seven new volunteers have arrived and five of those have left. They’ve been completing a large variety of work. Chris Minch has settled in well to the role of Assistant Volunteer Coordinator. His time has been taken up by airport pickups, inducting volunteers, helping at the summer school and football training and also researching other NGOs in Ho. He is also blogging for KickStart Ghana this summer. Anna Gilthorpe and Rianna Kelly were working at two local Kindergartens assisting the teachers with their work there. Rianna has now taken the lead at the summer school and reading club; planning and executing the lessons with the assistance of Chris Coco and myself. Chris and George Wadsworth coached Dynamo FC and you can read about what they thought of their time in Ho in their blog post. Last, but not least, we had Jeffrey Smith and Adenike Oke from JointSight productions who are working with KickStart Ghana to create a series of videos that showcase our work. I can’t wait to see the finished films!
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2011-12 KickStart Ghana Annual Report

KickStart Ghana are taking strides to ensure that the people of the Volta Region, in Ghana, can fulfil their potential and have every opportunity to succeed. We are doing this through the promotion of education and physical activity.

We are extremely pleased with the work of our staff and volunteers, both in the UK and Ghana and we can’t thank our supporters enough for their work over the year.

We’re delighted to share our annual report and accounts for 2011-12.

The Paris Marathon: What was I thinking?

One of our trustees, David Coles, is going to be running the Paris Marathon on 7th April aiming to raise £1000 for KickStart Ghana. Below are his thoughts on why he’s doing it.

Ever since I was in school people have told me I look like a long distance runner. Tall, with skinny legs and pretty bad at most other sports I think they were trying to stop me giving up sport altogether, “You’ve for the perfect physique for long distance running my boy,” the PE teacher would say (ignoring the fact I would finish near the back of cross country running each week).

Well that’s great and maybe these memories were in the forefront of my mind when I decided to enter in to the Paris Marathon back in October. I boldly signed up, giving myself a pat on the back thinking “how hard can this actually be?”. Well, whenever I go out for a training run it really, really hurts. Out of breathe, heart pumping and legs aching, I certainly don’t feel like a long distance runner. Those Olympic athletes make it look a lot easier than it really is!

So why am I putting myself through this? Surely it would be easier to just cheer on others from the sidelines, sponsoring the many friends I have who are running the Brighton and London marathons this year for some great causes.
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KickStart Ghana Party 2012

On Saturday 13th October we hosted our annual party celebrating the successes of KickStart Ghana, giving a big thanks to those that have volunteered with us and explaining why people might want to get involved with our work in the future.

Over the past four years we have many successes, here are few we discussed at the party:

  • Over £40,000 fundraised since 2008
  • Almost 100 volunteers sent to Ghana
  • Four football teams supported
  • Many renovated and painted classrooms
  • Summer activity and reading clubs for children in Ho
  • New mattresses, a water tank and steady food supply for a children’s home.

This has led to around 1800 people directly benefiting from KickStart Ghana’s work in Ho. Over 600 more people will continue to benefit over the next 12 months.

This was also a chance for for the KickStart Ghana trustees to thank the many volunteers, fundraisers and supporters, both in the UK and Ghana, that ensure that the charity can continue to do the work that it does.
We also put a call out for new fundraisers and volunteers to come forward. Without these people the charity will not be able to build on its previous successes.
We hope that everyone that attended enjoyed themselves (the photo album indicate that they did!) and we’d like to say a huge thank to everyone that made came along to help us celebrate.

Fail to prepare…

Flights booked? Check. Visa? Check. Sturdy pair of flip-flops? Check. My necessary trawl through essential travel preparation is well underway. On the near horizon, though, is the now customary charade of visiting the travel nurse. Each visit I stroll in, inform the nurse I’m travelling to Ghana and that I’ll be needing a prescription for malaria tablets and whatever boosters are due since my last trip. The nurse will then turn to her computer, look up the details for Ghana and select the right inoculations. She’ll produce the injection, turn to me and will probably say something like “Are you ok with needles?” I’ll then look at her straight in the eye and lie “Yea, no problem.”

Now, I’m no great fan of injections for the reason that someone stabbing me in the arm and sending a mystery fluid round my body doesn’t particularly enthuse me. So I’ll turn to the face away from my arm and get on with though as it needs to happen – I’m also not sure what I would gain from saying that actually, no, I’m not OK with needles. Does the nurse then turn from me, put the offending item back where it came from and say “OK then, I’ll just pop this away and we’ll say no more about it then”? I thought not.

However this visit is one of the last tasks I have to complete before I should be ready to go. But is preparation to volunteer overseas just a case of ticking the boxes that are needed to enter the country? Probably not is the answer that most people would give after giving it a little thought.

On the one hand you might argue that it’s extremely difficult to prepare for situations that you haven’t encountered before. Similarly, you might be inclined to suggest that there inevitably has to be a bedding in period after you arrive before you’re ready to really throw yourself into your project. Both of these may be true to some extent, but there are a few things that you can do make sure you are as fully prepared as possible before you begin your volunteer experience.

Have you gained as much information from the organisation about both their structure and the projects you’ll be working on? Do you have a clear picture of what will be expected of you from your host organisation? Do you yourself have a strong idea of what it is you would like to do?

At KickStart Ghana we try to provide volunteers with information on both our organisation and have produced a volunteer/role specification to try and answer as many of the volunteer’s questions as possible. Everyone has their own issues that spring to mind though and volunteers shouldn’t worry about getting in contact with the appropriate people to find out more information.

Even with this information it may be hard to plan your activities down to the smallest detail, but you can ask yourself a couple of fairly broad questions pre departure:

1. What are my strengths and how can they contribute to the project?

2. What do I want to achieve whilst volunteering?

This gives you something to refer during your trip: Are your skills being utilised? Are you achieving what you set out to achieve? If the answer to any of these is no then it is beneficial for both yourself and the organisation that it is fed back to your project leader.

From a KickStart Ghana perspective we’ve come up with 3 goals that we want to work on over the summer to help support our overall objectives:

1. Consolidate the support we give to our existing projects

2. Increase the scope for the number/type of projects we work with

3. Increase the number of relationships we have with other organisations with common goals

As mentioned above we’ll review these regularly to ensure that they are being fulfilled, and if not then steps will be taken to remedy this.

So despite all the stress and hassle of making sure you’re stocked up on flip-flops, sun cream and bug repellent, the most important pre departure tasks you might undertake is to just think about those few key questions. For me though, the task of overcoming the travel nurse is still to come…

Dave Thorp

This blog originally appeared on Do-it.