Some of you may remember that ISEE board member Bree planned to travel to Ghana this summer to meet up with Kassia. Well, we’re happy to say that Bree has arrived safely and with minimal issues (although read below for more about that…). These are her first two posts — we’ll post the next two in a couple days. Enjoy!
Day 1 in Ghana
Well, it’s been more than ten years since I last wrote a blog post but here it goes. I’ll start with travel dos and don’ts first so as to demonstrate to all my delightful sense of humour.
- Travel with excessive snacks
- Befriend random women in the airport who help you skip lines and make sure you are taken care of
- Pack 25 hours of activities to do for the journey
- Ignore the 25 hours of activities you brought and then wonder why the journey is taking so long
- Fail to sleep on the first flight, even though you absolutely should, because you’re too excited
- Miss opportunities to use the washroom because you may later regret it and require the help of complete strangers to watch your belongings
*These hot tips may or may not be based on real experience.
I arrived in Ghana late last night, with all 42kgs of sanitary supplies soon by my side. A shout out to Westjet and KLM for waiving the extra baggage fees in the name of humanitarian work. I’ve since joined Kassia at her family home where I will get to experience all the culture and kindness that Ghana has to offer, first hand.
This morning has been slow moving as I adjust to the new time zone. We had a delightful breakfast and the ventured out into the neighbourhood for a well-rounded walking tour. Tomorrow will be my first day with some of the team from Project One Million (check them on IG!) where we will visit a school to check in around literacy programs.
Day 2 in Ghana
Today was my first glimpse at one of Project One Million’s programs at Keiwman School, a government school (as opposed to private) where resources tend to be more lacking. The aim of this current program is to enhance literacy for the students by encouraging reading in their personal lives.
The facilitators first shared an introduction to the group and their organizational goals around literacy and menstrual equality. After splitting into small groups of approximately fifteen students and two facilitators, students were invited to engage in open dialogue with the facilitators regarding some of the possible knowledge acquisition that can come from reading. We heard great examples like enhancing their English reading and writing skills, better spelling, and learning about other cultures. Next, the students were asked to consider both internal and external barriers to regular, personal reading. We heard a wide array of answers such as family obligations like chores, limited time, school work, finances, accessibility, boredom, book content, reading difficulties, and poor comprehension. Tips were shared by other students and facilitators alike to help promote the joy of reading for everyone. One facilitator, an avid reader herself, intends to go home to her childhood collection to share her copies of some of her favourites with the children who showed interest.
As a fellow bookworm, I was excited to promote the love of literacy! Here in Ghana it is important for students to recognize the accessibility and reliability of physical copy books versus available online content, which can be impacted by many external factors. The Project One Million facilitators have plans to return to this school monthly and I look forward to the work they will continue for these young minds!