CAN TURN OUT AWESOME!!!!
Tuesday morning nine GMH volunteers arrived in Ghana. Becki and Bruce Neumann and Zach and Janet Neumann have been wonderful dedicated volunteers who have traveled here many time. They were joined with Jason Wheeler and his daughter Tabitha, Merele Holsinger and his granddaughter Carys, and Martina Kinslow. By the time you read this blog, two more volunteers, Ben Spiker and his son, Aiden, will have arrived. So now the fun really begins. The plan: only five of us would be in Ghana this year but now we are tweleve. AWESOME!
As with all our of mission trip programs, plans are made a year in advance. Our plan for this year was to host three simultaneous Reading Camps in three different villages; Akramaman, Twerebo, and Boate. Each camp would host 50 children entering class 2 and include 10 Ghanaian teachers. Akramaman and Twerebo would be mentored by Kate Okine, a Ghanaian teacher. Kate has been helping with our camps for seven years and is quite capable of visiting both camps and making sure the leadership is doing their job. The volunteer team would work in the Eastern Region to help mentor the teachers at Boate. The best laid plans. . .
What we didn’t plan was that Kate would be expecting a new addition to her family this summer. She delivered by cesarean section on July 10th and has a beautiful baby boy. She cannot help with Reading Camp but Anastasia, a former Ghanaian volunteer, will be able to join us in Kate’s stead. AWESOME!
Our plans: Host a two day, dynamic teacher workshop for 30 teachers before the Reading Camps. We did not plan for road work to detour us causing day one of the work shop to be delayed an hour. What we did not plan was to detour right past the brand new high school, the first to ever be built in this area.
When people ask or question the impact of what we do in Ghana, I want them to look at this photo. In 2007 GMH funded a preschool. Then in 2010 GMH funded a primary school. The third and fourth are a new four story high school built by the government because families are moving to this area for the quality of education in the local schools. The reading camps we have run and the teacher training we have done have had a ripple effect in an area where very few students made it to high school. Until now.
The power of education is priceless. These students now have access to opportunity and a chance for a future. AWESOME!
The plan was a two day teacher training course. Day one would deal with teaching techniques in general with day two focusing on the mechanics behind our reading camp curriculum. What we did not plan for was the Municipal Education Department deciding to host a new curriculum workshop during our reading camp. This would effect one camp. We also did not plan on the Municipal Education Department to create new rules for working with NGO. One school was told they could not attend the training or host the Reading Camp.
The teachers and the Head Master came to the training anyway. We began these training sessions six years ago. Usually the teachers are very quiet and less engaged. These two days have been filled to the brim with excitement, animation, TOO much talking, and some great ideas. In other words, these two days turned our AWESOME!