Tag Archive for Overseas volunteering

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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KickStart Ghana Ebola factsheet

The current Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea is a tragedy for those countries and the thoughts of everyone at KickStart Ghana is with those families that have been affected.

We want to make sure that our supporters and volunteers are up to date with what the situation is in Ghana and that’s why we’ve created a KickStart Ghana Ebola factsheet.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of answers but we hope it reassures people and gives them an insight in to our response.

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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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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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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David Thorp waxes his legs for KickStart Ghana

On Tuesday 29th July, David Thorp will wax his rather hairy legs in the name of charity.

“Whilst other members of the board have put their bodies on the line with tests of endurance and perseverance in the name of KickStart Ghana fundraising, I have decided to put my body on the line with a test of short term pain and embarrassment.

At KickStart Ghana’s fundraising dinner with Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen I will have my legs waxed in order to raise money for KickStart Ghana’s sports and education projects. Target of £1000, top 5 bids from people at the fundraiser get to cause me physical pain (in the form of waxing my legs of course (I’ve got pretty hairy legs if that makes you want to donate any more?).

All donations welcomed!”

David Thorp legs

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

 

Training and fundraising – Exeter Community Action

Each year KickStart Ghana works with Exeter Community Action to recruit ten Exeter University students to travel to Ghana to volunteer at a summer school, reading club and Dynamo FC. Below is a guest blog post from Alex Hills, one of the project leaders, describing the work they will be doing and their fundraising efforts so far.

Hello everyone! Thanks for taking some time out of your valuable sofa time busy schedule to read this! We appreciate your interest!We are Alex Hills and Roman Christoforou, two students at the University of Exeter, and we are volunteering as part of a team of 10 students going to Ghana this summer to deliver a programme of sport and education. We will be volunteering in a township called ‘Ho’, in the Volta Region of Ghana, and we are working in coordination with a charity called ‘KickStart Ghana’ and the University of Exeter Students’ Guild society, ‘Community Action’. What exactly will the team be doing in Ghana? Well, the sport and education programme we will help to deliver consists of three main parts:

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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.