In February 2008, 19 students from Dorothy Stringer visited Ghana for 11 days with an initial focus on environmental and cultural education, including visits to the Akosombo dam, primary rainforest at Kakum National Park, a Kente cloth weaving and cocoa farming village collective and the slave fort at Cape Coast.
The trip now runs annually with up to 30 students each year. Over this time we have forged links with a range of different organisations and we are delighted by the rapid progress made with our link primary and senior schools in the Akosombo region.
Our students have undertaken joint curriculum work with their Ghanaian counterparts on biodiversity, energy use and sport, as well as teaching lessons in the primary school.
Some teachers and students from our link senior school have been able to visit Dorothy Stringer.
We are delighted that the two orphaned students whose school fees we sponsor are making excellent academic progress, and that Tortibo village primary school is now top in the whole region on a wide range of academic measures. We like to think that the educational resources, ideas and enthusiasm we bring with us when we visit have played a part in this, and our staff and students have benefitted in return from collaborating with our Ghanaian partners.
Many students, staff and parents help to raise funds every year, from baking and selling cakes regularly at our Ghana café in school and selling locally-made glass bead jewellery at our Open House festival to hosting quiz nights and a Ghanaian food evening for family and friends.
Apart from supporting our link schools, our charity work has helped us to supply equipment to increase the agricultural production in the village of Boyem. We have also helped Tortibo village to pay for a well and pump to provide drinking water, avoiding several four mile round trips a day to collect dirty river water, and to build communal toilets in the centre of the village, which they are proud to show visitors.
We are now trying to complete gap year accommodation in Tortibo to encourage older students to visit and make further contributions to the development of the village and its primary school. We also want to help the primary school build a new classroom and provide resources to help it teach new required courses.
If you think you, or someone you know, might be able to contribute to our projects in Ghana, we would love to hear from you. Please contact the Ghana Committee via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ghana Trip wins 'Excursion of the Year' at the Argus Education Awards 2014 Link: Ghana Trip - Excursion of the Year 2014