During Winter Break Amizade’s Executive Director Eric Hartman traveled with a small group of students to Ghana for a 2-credit course service-learning on international development. The students tutored local children and contributed to an ongoing library construction project. The library, which will be Ghana’s first public library outside of the capital city of Accra, is nearly three-fourths completed, and has already caused excitement in the local community. The students, all representing West Virginia University, worked with Hartman to develop a short online film about the course.
Together, the group visited the cities of Accra, Cape Coast, Jukwa, and Kumasi. They learned from children in Jukwa about how important the library will be in the community, as most of the children’s families had only a handful of books in their homes. Yet nearly all of the children expressed interest in school and attending a university later in life. The Amizade group toured historic castles including Cape Coast Castle and Elmina, took part in a canopy walk at the top of the Ghanaian rainforest, and visited the beach in Accra.
In a first for Amizade, local Chief Nana Afrifa Yamoah II donated the title to fifteen acres of land to the organization, in the hope that Amizade will continue to partner with universities and volunteers to support development in cooperation with the community. Applications are currently being accepted for the summer Introduction to Cultural Studies Course in Ghana, which will also take place in Jukwa.