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Students from Queen Mary's College, UK, with a group of students from Ghana, West Africa
Students from Queen Mary's College, UK, with a group of students from Ghana, West Africa
Students visiting Amina who cares for vulnerable children in Ghana, West Africa
A student from Queen Mary's College has a little christmas fun with one of our vulnerable children at the daycare centre

Queen Mary's College, UK: A Field Trip to Ghana

Date Posted: 14/03/2016

As part of our 'International School's Partnership Programme', Partner West Africa arranged an educational and cultural field trip for Queen Mary's college, Bainsgstoke, UK.

Read more to view extracts from the QMC debrief and trip assesment conducted by the QMC Principle. For a full case study of this, or many other, school partnership or field trips, please contact us at info@partnerwestafrica.org

 

Testimony by QMC College Principle, January 2016

As part of our 'International School's Partnership Programme', Partner West Africa arranged an educational and cultural field trip for our college, from Bainsgstoke in the UK.

"Planning the trip started early, with meetings at the college for interested students and their parents. Partner West Africa senior staff attended these meetings and so were involved from the very beginning, helping to organise our relationship structure and motivate the students regarding the oppportunities available through the programme.

PWA adviced that the college ask for applications from students and interviewed all who applied. From these a group of nine were selected and the detailed work on what the trip should include started. All students were asked what they wanted to experience so that PWA could design a bespoke itinerary that took account of the specific interests of the group. From that point on, through regular meetings and excellent communication, PWA supported staff and students in preparing for their trip and taking the stress off of our staff!

And before you knew it, we were touching down on a warm evening in Ghana to be greeted by the excellent PWA Ghana team and transferred to the beautiful PWA guesthouse in the village of Oshieye. Breathtaking!

Our Itinerary was carefully planned, with PWA working alongside our staff, to enable students to experience what they felt was important.

The field trip included:

  • Visits to the local communities of Oshieye & Kokrobite to find out at first hand their way of life. This included spending time in a school, experiencing first hand the differences in education resources available in Ghana, discussing various chosen topics with the student's new African peers, and engaging in some celebratory cultural dancing to mark the forming of the relationship ;
  • Time spent working with young children in the PWA Daycare & Nursery Centre, learning about their backgrounds and how QMC's fundraising had supported the project (and participating in the Christmas Party for the little ones and their families!);
  • A visit to Cape Coast Castle to learn about its place in the history & the slave trade, along with and a visit to Kakum National Park which included an canopy walk through the trees of a national park;
  • An educational tour of one of the busiest Children’s Hospitals in Accra, 'Korle Bu Teaching Hospital', to learn about healthcare as a cost to families, and to one of most impoverished shanty towns in Ghana; Agbogbloshie, to meet PWA partners and learn about child rights and inequality in the most difficult contexts;
  • Shopping at a cultural centre with local market traders, enjoying the beach and the food and traditional cultural dancing in the local village;
  • A thorough induction and 'reflection time' each evening to process the day and to discuss the student's experiences;
  • An end of trip de-brief to summarise what had been learnt, how the relationship with QMC should proceed, and what the students thought their experience had provided them with.

Our verdict: Incredible. We could not recommend Partner West Africa highly enough for school's looking for meaningful and rewarding engagement with children from a different culture. The students spoke of how well organised the whole trip was and how they were able to see a completely different way of life at first hand. I can see how confident this has made them… and it will be something they remember for the rest of their lives. A highly ethical charity providing life enriching, but more importantly life saving, services! We only wish we found them earlier!"

Author: Queen Mary's College Principal

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