What will I be doing in Ghana?
My past experience in Ghana was a 17 day trip last March, involving a lot of work with and for young people; organising forums and activities, and also helping in the construction of a ‘Discovery Centre’ which would provide a space for youth group meetings, and better facilities for children. I went with an organisation called Youth Service Initiative (YSI), a one year full time volunteer program based in Holland.
I will be working with an organisation called Community Partnership for Youth and Women Development (CPYWD). A quote from their website best summarises what they do:
CPYWD is dedicated to build partnership with the communities and to form youth and women groups (clubs). Led by interns and (community) volunteers, these groups have the chance to explore their interests and to acquire social and lifestyle skills. We focus on stimulating the social structures within and between the communities, and on building the capacity of the people. The community members are responsible for the development of their community by themselves! Through these social structures CPYWD builds the capacity of the local people. Eventually the communities should take over the lead and adapt CPYWD’s ideas and inspiration in their lifestyle.
In my four month stay, I’ll help in the projects of CPYWD, including organising and facilitating after school activities, and engaging the children in activities that will stimulate them. When in Ghana last, I organised a simple game of charades which the children had never heard of before. With the children acting out animals that they see walking around them all day, such as goats and chickens, I could see how a little creativity goes a long way with children who don’t have any toys to claim as their own.