This summer saw one of our biggest summer programmes to date, with school and college students, Scouts and CCOs travelling to Ghana, Kenya and Zanzibar. Thanks to our volunteers, it has been a summer to remember for our partner schools, and we’re excited to share with you what our volunteers got up to in this week’s blog post!
Volunteers travelled to the Volta region, where our partner schools are based, to support with teaching and sports coaching or one of our construction projects to develop the school site. With many children working from a young age to support their families, the work our volunteers did this summer contributes to our long-term development goal of encouraging children in Ghana to start school from an earlier age and stay in education longer.
Aklorbordzi and Rhema Abuita
The libraries at both school sites are starting to take shape thanks to our volunteers who continued the build over the summer by mixing concrete and laying bricks. Once complete, the library at Aklorbordzi will be home to the iPads which were donated to support the students with their learning. We can’t wait to see this project complete and both new spaces being used.
We’ve been working with Dedzidi School to construct a two-storey classroom block which comprises eight classrooms to help dramatically reduce overcrowding in lessons.
Students from a school in Hampshire continued with the construction of the classroom block, and there is now only one small block left to build to complete the project.
A new project was underway this summer at Dziedzorve, with our groups starting to build the perimeter wall around the school site.
Over the summer, our groups worked hard at our partner school, Little Roses, to screed and prepare the classroom floors for concreting so brick classrooms can be built.
Currently, when it rains, the wooden structured classrooms flood and can’t be used. The new brick classrooms will ensure that all lessons can take place in a safe and practical learning environment.
You can’t visit Ghana without immersing yourself in traditional West African culture. After a busy day volunteering at the schools, our groups took part in traditional Ghanaian drumming lessons and visited the beautiful beaches. At the weekend, some of our groups embarked on our Volta Adventure Weekend, where they visited a protected monkey sanctuary before relaxing in a lodge for an overnight stay and finishing with a trip to the tallest waterfall in Ghana, Wli Falls, the next day. Our other groups opted for our Cape Coast Adventure Weekend, which saw them embark on a tour of Cape Coast Castle and then finish the day relaxing in a lodge. Before heading back, our groups hiked through Kakum National Park, where they had lunch over a crocodile pond.
“Excellent in-country team who could not have done more to make for a fantastic, memorable and worthwhile experience.” Group Leader.
Our partner schools in Kenya had a busy summer, welcoming volunteers to Nakuru who were ready to get stuck into our construction projects, teaching and sports coaching. By working together and picking up the baton from our previous groups, fantastic progress was made at our partner schools. Read on to find out what they got up.
The Walk Centre
Welcoming four groups over the summer, the students really benefitted from the extra support they received in the classroom alongside the progress made with development work at the school site.
Five classroom floors were repaired, along with the staff office being completed with a coat of paint and a serving window and sink installed in the kitchen.
Volunteers also painted the new toilet block and school gate. Now that the construction of the new toilet block is complete, The Walk Centre can apply for full registration of the school.
Cherish Exchange Foundation
A large project which has been taking place at Cherish is levelling the school plot to fill in the ditch to make it a safer place for students to learn and to allow the school to become registered. We’ve had machine power and a lot of elbow grease from our volunteers over the summer, who have helped to level a large proportion of the land.
Construction of the dining hall was started, along with safety railings being added to the outside of the toilet block. Volunteers also painted a mural on the toilet block and painted the classroom block.
“We couldn’t be more grateful for the work that has been delivered this summer and seeing how much the site has changed since moving here in 2020.” Moses, Cherish Founder.
A significant focus at Ungana Academy has been the construction of the three permanent classrooms. This summer, our volunteers helped to finish building the classrooms and also added the finishing touches by plastering and painting them. Lessons are now taking place in the classrooms, providing a safe learning environment and reducing overcrowding.
Volunteers also helped to plaster and paint the perimeter wall.
West End Destiny
Thanks to our volunteers over the summer, the new permanent classroom at West End looks unrecognisable! The metal framework for the staircase to the second level of the classroom is now complete. One of African Adventures’ goals is to raise enough money so the final work can take place to complete the permanent classroom.
Jubilee Academy also saw progress with their two permanent classrooms, with volunteers helping to lay bricks for the walls. The new classrooms will help to provide a safe learning environment for the 190 students who attend.
Away from volunteering, there were plenty of activities to keep our volunteers busy. Some of our groups opted for our Rift Valley Adventure Day, giving our volunteers a whistle-stop tour of Kenya. The day included a safari, as well as a visit to the Equator and a hike at Thomson Falls. Other groups visited the famous Maasai Mara, where they went on safari to spot the big five and learnt about the Maasai tribe by immersing themselves in Kenyan culture.
At our partner schools in Zanzibar, it is not unusual for classes to contain upwards of 100 children with just two teachers. Due to overcrowding and children having to sit on the floor for lessons, classrooms can quickly become worn with holes in the floor and walls, making it an unsuitable learning environment. During the summer programme, volunteers helped to renovate 30 classrooms across Fuoni School, Kijito Upele School and Kinuni Primary School.
Kinuni Primary School
A scout group worked hard at Kinuni to help finish the construction of the library, creating an additional quiet learning space for students to flourish in their studies.
The High School of Glasgow partnered with Kinuni School at the end of 2022 and set themselves the goal of raising money as a school to fund a new toilet block as part of our WASH programme, which they supported with the construction of during their trip in June. You can read more about their trip in our blog post here.
“It was an incredibly eye-opening experience that taught me a lot of valuable skills and gave us an idea of the culture in Zanzibar.” Isobelle, Volunteer.
With lots to do to fill your free time in Zanzibar, some of our groups grabbed their flippers and explored the clear blue waters and white sandy beaches of Zanzibar on our Ocean Safari. Other groups went on a historic tour of Stone Town and walked through a famous spice farm on our Taste of Zanzibar Weekend. Famous for its friendly giant tortoises, some groups opted to visit Prison Island as part of our Islands Adventure Day which also included snorkelling for tropical fish.
Thank you to all our volunteers who were part of our 2023 summer programme and helped to make a long-term sustainable impact at our partner schools.
We are looking forward to welcoming our last groups of the year to Ghana and Kenya in October. Stay tuned to hear about what they get up to!
If you’re interested in picking up the baton from our Summer Volunteer Programme and arranging a group volunteer experience, please click here.