Volunteering in Ghana
Why give our pupils the opportunity to volunteer in Ghana?
At Deer Park we are committed to promoting global citizenship and we offer our pupils rich experiences that will make a difference to their own and others’ learning and life chances.
As a school recognised by The British Council’s International School Award, we have embedded the global dimension into our curriculum. Our pupils study Ghana in Geography in Year 9 and we encourage them to be active citizens through our Citizenship and PSHEe courses. Travelling to Ghana to experience life in Woe first hand with African Adventures was an opportunity too good to miss. Not only did our pupils gain valuable travel experience, they also engaged positively in teamwork planning and preparing for their trip, acquired new practical and social skills and raised the funds necessary to support their endeavours. Our first trip in April 2017 surpassed our expectations and on our return we were keen to give new volunteer teams the opportunity to contribute to the community we stayed in and continue with our project work in 2018 and 2019.
Our Ghana volunteers are set very clear challenges and targets to achieve. They demonstrate resilience and resourcefulness. Some are able to raise the full cost of their trips through sponsored activities or enterprise! Once in Ghana our pupils gain valuable insights into Ghanaian life and culture. They contribute to the development of projects as ‘teachers’, teaching assistants, community builders and sports leaders.
Accompanied by Headteacher, Chiquita Henson, and three other members of staff, a group of 25 Year 10 pupils from Cirencester Deer Park School travelled to Ghana in April 2017 with African Adventures on a journey of a lifetime. Working as teachers and community builders, our volunteers made a significant contribution to their assigned projects near the coastal community of Woe. Both individually and collectively the team demonstrated incredible resilience. They were resourceful, practical and creative. Our thanks to everyone who supported and contributed to their fundraising before they went.
Following our initial Year 10 trip to Ghana this year, current Year 10 pupils are fundraising for their own Ghana 2018 trip in July next year - they will be at school events and are planning a Christmas Fair for the end of term. A group of our Year 9s will be travelling to Africa at Easter 2019.
Lolito (Ghana) Appeal
During our initial visit to Ghana in April 2017, Headteacher Ms Henson and our volunteers visited a remote rural village called Lolito.
Our volunteers were warmly welcomed by the Elders and families when we visited the village on Easter Sunday and a tour of their homes and the local amenities made us realise how great their needs are. Our donations of rice, clothing and sports equipment seemed barely adequate when they lack clean running water and share 'kitchen’ and ‘toilet’ facilities.
Since our return from Ghana we have been liaising with the village Elders and African Adventures Foundation to see what more we can do.
Our initial target is to raise funds to go towards the provision of a new toilet block. We are also appealing for donations of sportswear, football boots and sports equipment for our new volunteer group to take out to Lolito when they travel to Ghana in July 2018.
Furthermore, in time, we hope to establish a longer term community partnership with Lolito and this may provide the opportunity for adult volunteers in the future to go and work on more specialist areas such as health screening, financial literacy and enterprise.
If you have any queries about the Lolito fundraising, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.