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Ronald Porter
Acting Director of Service Learning

Eckerd College
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Service Learning

Service Learning

Ghana: Winter Term 07


View photos from Ghana

As part of a Winter Term course fourteen students traveled to Ghana, accompanied Professor Debure and Jonathan Atuah, a current Eckerd College student originally from the capital of Ghana. They assisted a village community in the Volta Region of Ghana with the financing and construction of latrines. They lived in the community of Tafi Atome located within a Monkey Sanctuary for more than two weeks and felt as if they became part of the village.

A generous grant from the Kellogg Foundation helped to defray the travel costs for the students and provided enough materials and tools needed for the completion of the project. These funds also enabled them to pay for labor and the preparation of meals for the members of the community when they joined them to work on the project. This was essential because most members of the community practice sustainable farming and could not work on their farms and provide food for their families when helping. The entire community was excited about joining in. They often felt compelled to take the tools away from the students to do the work themselves in appreciation of the help given to their village.

The work was divided into two parts. First, was the digging of the main hole (the "pit") which should be large enough to serve for the next ten years. The second part consisted in making cement blocks necessary for the construction of the walls and foundations of the latrine. This project was physically easier than the digging with a pick and shovel which most students had never done! In the end, the project was not yet complete but the huge hole (51'x 11' x 10' deep) was dug and most of the necessary cement blocks were also finished. A feast and drumming celebration offered by the village sent the students off to finish their tour of the country.

View photos from Ghana

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