We believe that Global Citizenship comes to fruition when put in action - and this is why we are taking the conference out into the field! Over two days, conference participants, together with our local project partners, join hearts, hands and minds to tackle pressing challenges that local communities in Berekuso (Ghana) are facing. Working in small teams, participants and project partners become learners and solvers alike. Supported by top notch mentors, they pool resources, capacities and experiences to generate possible solutions for the identified challenge.
Here is an insider’s view into the activities of the first day of the hands-on GCC projects.
Initiated by Ashesi student Hudson Lakunse, Educare is a project that works with a kindergarten for 2 - 6year old children in Berekuso to improve literacy and creativity among kids using both Ghanaian educational curriculum and Montessori methods of teaching.
A group of Melton Fellows joined Educare’s team and community teachers to design a new methods of evaluation and enhancing the children’s learning capabilities. By developing a progress record in the form of a school file, teachers can stay organized and create a more stimulating environment in the classroom.
Bowney works to empower underprivileged female high school students from the local community by maximizing their educational, financial, social and spiritual potential. A team of Melton Fellows and Bowney project leaders embarked on a field trip through Berekuso. There, they had conversations with girls who are currently attending Bowney’s program, their parents and the community administrative officer. Inspired especially by one of the girls who told them: “I want to be a journalist, singer and dancer. I need help and I will come back and help more girls.”, the team worked to illustrate a sustainable plan that can support girls on their way pursuing own dreams by providing mentoring programs, future workshops, financial self-support advice and more.
A Berekuso based sanitation project, Ahote seeks to promote environmental sustainability among teenagers. One of the challenges the project is currently facing is the low participation level in clean-ups and similar activities, which are designed to keep the community clean and healthy and teach youngsters about the importance of recycling. After a morning briefing the team of Melton Fellows and Ahote project leaders got ready to explore the reasons: they divided into two groups to conduct field interviews in order to gain more information about peoples perspective on the sanitation and trash in the community. Christina (18 years old) expressed that many places were dirty because people wouldn’t keep them clean. “It is our duty to clean our environment”, she said and is convinced that 40-50 percent of young people living locally share this opinion. Another resident reflected on the impact of Ahote’s work by acknowledging that the area has become much cleaner since Ahote started the project by installing a rubbish containers 2 years ago. In his opinion, the regular community clean-ups would work better if there were more buy-in from everyone, including the chiefs of the town. With this and much more insights at hand, the team then went back to the drawing board to design possible solutions to the challenge.
Tech Era is about bringing IT literary and skills in Robotics to children living in impoverished communities. A team of conference participants and TechEra project leaders are working to improve their work through empathy and design thinking. The working sessions was spot on. Four TechEra student together with their Information Communication Technology (ICT) teacher formed part of the workshop to show what a typical ICT lessons looks like. The team made observations and then sat down to discuss and interview the students and teacher to get to a deeper level of understanding about the situation and to learn about challenges both students and teacher encounter first hand. Based on those insights, we put design thinking and empathy to work in order to develop ‘Point of View’ statements for teacher and students to ideate ways to fuse interest in IT as well as to design a more engaging learning environment.
Today Melton fellows worked with a local food NGO called Sesa Mu. Sesa Mu is a social business that produces dried pineapples in Berekuso (Ghana). The Melton Foundation held design thinking workshops where fellows worked alongside this growing enterprise to produce a prototype that would sustain the business and yield in greater impact for the community. They worked together to enhance consumer base and expand building capacity for optimal economic growth.
The day came to an end with team check-outs and a reflection on the progress made during the day. Teams also discussed and presented a point of view on their projects. We’re half way there - find out all about the second leg of Hands-on GCC Projects here!