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Ghana: Winter Term '11
During the month of January 2011, 10 students joined Daryl Binitie and I to travel and volunteer in Ghana, West Africa. Daryl is one of international students at Eckerd College who wished to take Eckerd Students back to his country to share not only his culture but to show the reality of the plight and promise of Africa. Besides learning about the culture, the history, the economy, the problems facing the country and the solutions brought by past and current administrations, we went to the small remote village of Tafi Atome located in the Volta region of Ghana where we assisted the community with funding and the construction of a toilet/bathroom facility as well as a kitchen.
This was the second time that Eckerd College assisted the community of Tafi Atome known for its protected forest, Mona monkeys, and ecotourism project.
The facility we worked on is part of a larger clinic complex which will finally house an on-site nurse for the 4 villages comprising the community. It was 70% completed when we left. All the materials necessary for the completion of the project were purchased and the community is only left with pouring floors, installing the roofs and the plumbing which should take a few weeks.
Director International Student Programs
About the Course
Professor Olivier Debure
Have you ever wanted to immerse yourself in the rich culture of Africa and soak in the sights, sounds and food? Have you ever been curious about whether Africa really fits the image portrayed by Western media? Have you ever wondered why Ghana seems to be one of the few countries in Western Africa where democracy actually works? Have you wanted to travel to Africa by making a difference by engaging yourself in a service project? If yes, this trip is the perfect culmination to Eckerd College's Africa initiative and your chance to see firsthand Ghana, the Gold Coast.
The program begins with a short stay in Ghana's capital, Accra, where we will be taught about democracy and power transition, colonization and the slave trade the emergence of the Ashanti Kingdom plus the integration of ECOWAS fair trade and the move towards a single monetary unit called the "ECO". We will also profile the country's health and education systems, as well as gender perceptions and the role of adolescent girls in society, all while sampling the unique character of the metropolis. The spectrum of lectures including government officials, university professors, businessmen and activists.
We will then travel eastward to the Volta region where we will contribute our time and effort in improving a community's infrastructure particularly by constructing latrines for public use. For two weeks student teams of two will live in local home stays in the village of Tafi Atome. This promises to be physically challenging, but also fun under the leadership of a current Eckerd student from Ghana who will introduce us to daily life in his country.
Evaluation will be based on participation in group efforts and discussions, attendance at events, as well as a reflective paper that connects assigned readings and lectures with the work done. Fulfills the Global Perspective.