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The Corporation

Posted: 03/08/09

Volunteering in Ghana a humbling experience for college students

“The trip to Ghana was amazing; one of the best things I have ever experienced.  It was a very humbling experience.” These are the words of student Samuel Allen from West Nottinghamshire College after his return from a volunteering project to Ghana.

Abigail Price (19) and Samuel Allen (20), who have just taken their A Levels, along with hairdressing student Nikki Swinscoe (18) have returned from a fortnight of helping orphans and schoolchildren in the village of Mpraeso in Ghana.

They went with President of the Students’ Union Luke Frakes and schools liaison co-ordinator Emma Leaver.

The party visited the village of Mpraeso where they spent two weeks with children at the village’s orphanage and local school, where they involved them in sporting activities, dancing and artwork as well as teaching some of them in the classroom.

The group were made welcome at the home of the Prince Kofi of Ghana and discovered all about another culture and family life in Africa.  They enjoyed several trips to markets, hikes in the mountains and rain forests, as well as meeting the village chief at an event where there was music, dancing and drumming.

Sam added: “Life over there is so much more laid-back and trouble-free. Ghana has one of the richest cultures I have ever seen.

“For me, the best part must be when I was teaching literacy, and I called each child up one by one to listen to them read while I noted down the words they struggled with - making an individual ‘key words’ list for each pupil. It was at this point in the trip that I felt that I was actually making a real difference - the children were so grateful.”

Luke said: “After only spending such a short time in Ghana I feel like I have learnt so much. The Ghanaian way of life is so free, nobody is lazy and the first thing we were told by our friends in Ghana was ‘take off your watches… time does not exist in Ghana.’

“The villages we visited desperately need teachers; whether these are professionals or college leavers with fresh ideas.

“This trip was amazing and I fully recommend people look into doing something like this for themselves.  The Students’ Union will be arranging another trip this coming academic year.” 

Visit our photo gallery to see all the photos taken during the trip.