Home away from home

This past winter, Verlisha Brandon, a Virginia State University student traveled to Amizade’s site in Ghana to spend three weeks…

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Rhiannon in Ghana: Exploring the Effects of Palm Oil Production

A jumble of stories, experiences, and memories came tumbling from my lips when I was asked about my five week placement as an Amizade Individual Volunteer in Jukwa, Ghana. It has proven to be impossible to summarize my time there when every single moment was filled with excitement, joy, and a new lesson. Perhaps the most interesting, and unique, aspect of my stay in Ghana was learning about palm oil and its role in the local community.

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"Why Go Back to Ghana?"

Writing about something that has had such a profound effect on your life – personally, academically, and professionally, is a daunting task. You want your readers to feel, see, and hear the same sights, emotions, and experiences that you felt. You want them to understand the connection you feel to the library, the clinic, your homestay family, and the community as a whole. You want to accurately answer the question you are asked on a regular basis, “Why go back to Ghana?”

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Returning to Ghana

Returning to Ghana for a second time with Amizade was one of the best decisions I made in 2011. I returned from the Community Development in Ghana Summer Service-Learning program like a woman on fire. I had found a like-minded group of individuals and an organization that I believed in. This program further solidified in my mind my passion for this region and my desire to work with community-driven development. Before I even stepped off of our returning flight, my mind was running a million miles an hour in an attempt to figure out how soon I could return to Jukwa, Ghana.

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The Anhwiam Water Pipe

Just outside the town of Jukwa, Ghana- where Amizade has been working for over a decade- is the village of Anhwiam. Anhwiam is a small rural village of just 600 people, who sustain themselves with small farms. The village is also where Nicholas Osei Koduah, a dear friend of Amizade, grew up. As a leader of the Ghana Students Association and community activist, Nicholas continuously worked to better his community.

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Walking in the Canopy of Kakum National Park

Imagine touring a Ghanaian rain forest, witnessing the incredible plants and wildlife that surround. Primates swing from branch to branch, a vast array of colorful birds soar through the sky, and vibrant flowers materialize amongst the immensity of green. With each new step on your trek through the dense foliage, a unique and exciting sight appears. Now imagine that your winding your way through the forest canopy over a hundred feet above the floor below!

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