Ghana Action Project – Blog 1

Posted on the 9th July 2018

Our Ghana Action Project team will be giving us updates every week about their time so far volunteering in Ghana. Take a look at the first instalment below, written by Team Leader, Emily DeSouza

The Ghana Action Project (GAP) officially began last Monday with eight volunteers arriving from the UK into Kotoka International Airport in Accra. Team leaders and Lattiude staff involved in the project had already been in Ghana a week prior to the volunteers’ arrival for planning sessions, so it was great to finally get GAP started! The flight arrived late so we went straight back to the hotel to rest before starting orientation training on day 2.

Orientation is a great introduction to volunteering as it gives volunteers the opportunity to learn more about the background of the project, rather than being thrown into the deep end! We learnt more about what we’ll be getting up to over the next 6 weeks as well as what life in a rural Ghanaian community will be like. It was very useful for us all to get together at the beginning of this project because you can really get to know the different characters in the team and what everyone’s strengths are.

In the afternoon of orientation, we took a tour of Accra led by former Lattitude Ghana volunteer, Samuel. He took us to an old fishing community in James Town in Old Accra. This is where British colonialists built the first road in Ghana. The community in James Town was vibrant and has a wealth of talented people – famous boxers and footballers have come from this community. We also visited Black Star Square and Black Star Gate which marks Ghanaian independence. We drove past other notorious sites such as Jubilee House where the President, Nana Akufo-Addo lives.

On day 3, everyone travelled to Abrobiano – the community we will be staying in for the next 6 weeks. The volunteers met their host families and got settled into their new home environment. The volunteers are in pairs, so there is someone familiar staying with them. Getting to know the host family is one of the best parts about this project as it really helps you to understand and learn more about their culture.

On the fourth and fifth day we met with teachers across both the primary schools in the community – The Islamic Primary and Abrobiano MA Primary. From here we planned and taught lessons in spelling, pronunciation and grammar. Teaching at the schools in Ghana is very challenging as children have little focus and run in and out of the classrooms. All volunteers managed their classes well and lessons were a success!

For our free time at the weekend we visited Cape Coast which is the capital of the central region. We enjoyed going around the markets and haggling for unique pieces. We also got acquainted with the Ghanaian public transport system of tro-tros! This is definitely an experience as every time you stop you get several “street hawkers” in the window trying to sell you Ghanaian foods!

It is safe to say that the week has been challenging for everyone, but a lot of fun and plenty has been learnt!

Check back next week to hear about week 2 of Ghana Action Project!

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