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Playing football on the beach with House of Grace students
Playing football on the beach with House of Grace students
A brilliant welcome from St Peter's School
Using play worker skills in school in Ghana
The people of Agbogbloshie showed the group happiness and community spirit
Relax at the beach bars in Kokrobite, Ghana

The Community Ambassadors Visit Ghana

Date Posted: 25/10/2017

Partner West Africa (PWA) hosted a group of amazing young people from Plymouth, UK. They’re a group who have been working together for a few years and are no strangers to volunteering?, read on to see what they got up to in their 2 weeks in Ghana.

Partner West Africa (PWA) hosted a group of amazing young people from Plymouth, UK. They’re a group who have been working together for a few years under the name of the ‘Community Ambassadors’ and are no strangers to volunteering having have done lots in their home community, which is one of the most deprived in Plymouth. Through their own hard work and determination and the generosity of individuals they fundraised to enable their 2 week trip out to Ghana, a once in a lifetime opportunity, as said by the group!

The focus of group trips for young people are different to PWA’s individual volunteer opportunities; while the trip is still tailored to the groups individual needs and skills, the overarching aim is to give young people a first-hand experience of life in a country different to their own, helping to unpick prejudice, break down cultural barriers, promote understanding and empathy, and to encourage young people to become responsible global citizens.

PWA carefully designed a 2-week itinerary taking into account the groups skills in play work and other interests as well as including other fun and more serious activities.

The group spent 2 days at a rural PWA partner school, receiving an enthusiastic, musical welcome from the students and teachers before a personal tour around the village to meet some of the student’s families and visit their homes, “it made me see how lucky we are and a big reality to how a large portion of the world live” said Yas. The second day was taken up with running play sessions with the youngest children and taking part in football and other games during the schools weekly ‘games afternoon’.

They also spent a day at PWA’s newest partner school, House of Grace, a school for deaf and hearing-impaired children before inviting a group of students, who gave them a crash course in sign language, to a beach morning and lunch back at the guest house later in the week. Jeff, the group leader and youth worker said “House of Grace was a wonderful but challenging experience and highlighted the challenge of disability both to those who are disabled and those who aren’t. [It was] good for the group to encounter this and have to find ways to work around it.”. The beach football game was a particular highlight for Matt: “playing football with the deaf children has encouraged me and helped decide that a football coaching career is the path I’d like to take, working with hearing impaired children is one of the challenges I could come across in the future and I really think the House of Grace has helped that”.

A visit to PWA’s partner Amina and her daycare centre in Agbogbloshie, one of West Africa’s largest shanty towns, was definitely a thought provoking activity which really helped the group to consider their own homes and community. Chloe said, “Agbogbloshie made me feel incredibly selfish about how I felt about the place I lived, those people have next to nothing and yet still so happy and welcoming to everyone. The community was so heart-warming, although they have less than us, they all pull together more than our community does”, this was echoed by Bridey, “even though they have little, they’ve a lot of community and love”.

Spending time in the friendly village of Kokrobite where PWA is based enabled the group to see first-hand the renowned Ghanaian friendliness and see what everyday life is like for many people across the world. “Another part I extremely enjoyed was the involvement we were able to have with the local people, being able to have a true insight into the people’s lives and living conditions has really made this trip for me” said Pat, while Kat observed that “the community is so welcoming and have helped us while being here…[The culture is] very different to ours but everyone is more than happy to show you their ways of life”.

The group were given plenty of time and support from the PWA team to reflect on, process and discuss, their experiences, observations, thoughts and feelings, allowing them to fully explore the development issues and put them into context.

Chloe said that spending time in Ghana “made me realise that Africa is not how it is advertised on the television. It has definitely been something I would do again and has been a massive eye opener towards my personal life and perspective.”

For Chelsea “this experience has been unforgettable, I can’t put into words how eye opening this experience has been for me”.

 

If you are a school, college, university or youth group, looking for a high quality opportunity to involve young people in genuine development work that explores today's international development issues and promotes responsible global citizenship, get in touch…we have many group educational, cultural and project driven opportunities available at fantastic not-for-profit rates from a genuine, community based charity/NGO. group educational, cultural and project driven opportunities available at fantastic not-for-profit rates from a genuine community-based charity/NGO group educational, cultural and project driven opportunities available at fantastic not-for-profit rates from a genuine community-based charity/NGO.

 

 

 

 

Author: Partner West Africa

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