The main purpose of this trip will be for trip participants to familiarize themselves with Ghana and its culture, conduct on-the-ground research for later phases, and be involved in direct service to Akoanso, a village in the Central region of Ghana. Ghana considers education instrumental to sustainable economic development as well as peace, therefore, this project is incredibly essential to allowing education to flourish in Akoanso. In order to do this, we will be working alongside professors, experts, and village leaders.
As a group, we will look for alternate sources of funding that will hopefully further reduce the cost of the trip. In order to offer effective solutions, critical research must first be conducted to identify the specific needs of the children in the area. In addition to educational needs, we will also designate trip participants to lead research in water sanitation, sustainable architecture, renewable energy sources, community outreach, and environmental sanitation. The research should help answer some basic design questions such as the number and size of classrooms needed, as well as address more challenging cultural issues including parents’ belief that their children’s time is better spent farming than at school. Each day will be different and essential to the research process towards successfully building a sustainable primary school. On-the-ground research conducted on this trip will pave the way for later phases of this project. There will also be opportunities during the trip to explore other local points of interest, such as a nearby UNHCR refugee camp.
Upon return, we will be working together to write a proposal that informs the design of the new Akoanso school structure, working with other Yale student groups (students interested in architecture, sustainability, etc), and fundraising to finance the school’s construction. Several NGOs have expressed possible interest in financing the school, and therefore it is imperative to create a persuasive report based on the research conducted on this trip. At the heart of this trip is education accessibility and participants will be able to see how education reform is an interdisciplinary issue that needs to be addressed now.