Dates: January 5-26, 2018
Group Size: 2 leaders, 10 participants, 1 Faculty/Staff Advisor
The rural village we will be visiting is in a tropical region two and a half hours from Accra, and is home to about 300 local subsistence farmers. This is a welcoming and friendly community who enjoys working with visiting volunteers and sharing their culture, and it is very important to greet the members of the community and take time to talk to them. Most villagers speak a mixture of English and their local tribal language, and during our visit we will participate in language and cultural lessons.
The organization we are working with was established in 2006 when the team completed their first well which allowed a village of more than 300 people to access safe drinking water. They work with the local community on sustainable partnerships to help alleviate poverty focusing on improving access to clean drinking water, increased sanitation and improved education. The organization works alongside the heart of the local rural tropical community. It has built an information center, health center and library which helps to educate the community on health, hygiene, sanitation and family planning while working in partnership with local government staff. They help reduce the suffering of children by providing hand washing facilities and the team actively promotes health education through school and community hand washing seminars.
Although education is free in Ghana, pupils are required to have shoes and a uniform in order to attend, and for some of the poorest families this is not financially possible. The organization works alongside the local Headmasters to identify families most in need and has provided over 700 school scholarships in over 60 remote villages.
The organization uses locally-produced films to educate the community on public health issues. Volunteers and members of the community produce, act and direct films which are screened to the community on a large screen using a generator - a big local event!
Working alongside a team of local builders we will have the opportunity to get to know local culture and learn from members of the community themselves. The people in the village highly value sharing their culture and participating in meaningful and educational conversations. On our days off we will have time to explore the local area and travel to weekly markets to see a new way of life.
Food, Lodging, Travel:
The team will fly from Minneapolis St. Paul airport into Accra and be met by volunteers from the organization to be transported to the village we will be staying in.
In the village volunteers sleep in single sex 8 bunk-bed dormitories. The accommodation is clean but very simple, with long drop toilets and no running water. Volunteers use an outside enclosed but open air shower using a bucket and cup and harvested rainwater. There is electricity in the village about 70% of the time. Main meals are provided for all volunteers at the base and volunteers take it in turns to cook the daily meals and wash up. Volunteers can buy bottled water at the local weekly market or some volunteers choose to buy the local bagged water which is slightly less pure than the bottled water. The building projects take place across villages in the local region and volunteers will be transported to the building site by a Land Rover each day.