According to UNESCO, 58 million children in the world are out of school, and 43% of them will probably never enter a classroom. The goal is to have all children in school by 2015, but the challenges are many. The situation is especially challenging in Sub-Saharan Africa. Going to school can be expensive, classrooms are generally overcrowded, there are not enough qualified teachers, and many schools lack access to electricity as well as adequate teaching materials.
This means the situation is tuff, but it also means that there are a lot of things we can do to make the situation better! For example UNESCO estimates that in the coming decades, 27 million teachers will be needed to meet the growing demand for education world wide.
Would you like to volunteer as a teacher, or support a Ghanian student?
Read more about our internship/volunteer programme >>
Check out our student sponsorship project >>
Today (1st of July) is Republic Day in Ghana – a public holiday celebrating the day the country achieved republic status fifty-four years ago. Just about a month ago Ghana, as many other African countries, also celebrated the African (Union) Day (25th of May) – another public holiday taking the form of an annual commemoration of the establishment of the Africa Union (AU).
Historically, Ghana was the first African country to declare colonial independence in 1957, and one year later Accra hosted the first African conference to be held on African soil (the AAPC – All African Peoples’ Conference). It’s suggested that this conference later gave rise to the establishment of the African Union in 1963 (then known as OAU). The AU now consist of 54 member states, and has today shifted it’s focus from supporting liberation movements towards being an organisation that promotes Africa’s development and integration. Promoting the vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena.” African Union >>
Check out the programme overview at our webpage for more information about volunteer work and internship opportunities in Northern Ghana!
HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON!
To get the full potential out of your internship or volunteer work in Ghana it’s helpful to read up on some history and general knowledge regarding the local culture and traditions.
As far as general travel and country information goes, there are several publications in English that offers insightful tips about where to go, what to see, when and how. The Bradt Travel Guide by Philip Briggs is one example that we can recommend.
Dagombas are the largest “tribal group” in the Northern region, and when it comes to local culture and traditions several books have been written on the theme. One of the more sited works is The Lions of Dagbon: Political Change in Northern Ghana, which was written by Martin Staniland as early as 1975. Also Christine Oppong’s pice Growing up in Dagbon is a well renowned publication about Dagomba cultural and traditions.
The Bradt Travel Guide
Growing up in Dagbon
The Lions of Dagbon
For more information and suggestions about Ghana literature, see the Goodreads section on the right, or visit our Goodreads profile online >>
Girls in front of solar panels.
As the first developing country to engage with Sustainable Energy for All, Ghana is developing a national action plan to increase its renewable energy capacity and extend reliable energy access to all of its citizens. By 2020 Ghana’s goal is to generate 10 % of the countries energy production from renewable sources.
Today Ghana relies on hydropower, and since 2000 the residential electricity demand has increased by 61 %. Partially due to the country’s rapid urbanisation trend, economic growth and shift in status from being a low income – to a middle income country. Moving away from hydropower towards new renewable sources are thus suggested by some to be a solution for an increased demand. Vibe Ghana.
Learn more about SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FOR ALL >>
Shea Nuts is an industry in Ghana.
Shea nut processing is an important and relatively large sector within the northern regions of Ghana. Last week the minister of Trade an Industry announced that the Government is to spend about 5 million Ghana Cedis to boost the industry further. An initiative that is expected to support and develop the industry by constructing new processing plants and train more women.
Read more at Modern Ghana >>
The UNDP (United Nations Development Program) has published a report about the happiest countries in the world (World Happiness Report, 2013). Ghana ranked number 86 out of 156. If the evaluation would have been in terms of smiles – Ghana probably would have made number one, but parameters such as healthy life expectancy and perception of corruption were also taken into account.
Read the full article on The Huffington Post >>
Traditional Dagomba house.
African adobe architecture, and especially in the area around northern Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali, is well known for its remarkable shapes, forms and ornaments. There are all kinds, ranging from The Great Mud Mosque in Djenné, to the stunning paintwork aplied on family-houses in Sirigu. Every tribal group have their own particular way of constructing houses, and in Tamale you will find the typical Dagomba houses both in the central parts of town as well as outside in the local communites. The houses are traditionally build in mud, with a rounded grass roof, and detailed decorations around the entrance.
Check out these other beauties at Pinterest >>
Colourful Ghana textiles.
Dresses by Ghanian fashion designer Kofi Ansah.
The winner of episode 4 in the BBS interior-design show The Great Interior Design Challenge used colourful textiles from Ghana in his decor. The Ghanian textile industry is well know all over the world for its remarkable patterns and color compositions.
One of the formost representatives and ambassadors for Ghanian textiles, the renowned designer Kofi Ansah, has created multiple pieces using local fabrics. His work has amazed thousands and some of his lines have been showed at Tigo Glitz African Fashion Week, and sold abroad in London and the US. Today the sad news was released that Mr Kofi Ansah has passed away at the age of 62.
The reputation and interest for Ghana textiles will most likely continue to blossom world wide, but the local industry is meeting tuff competition from cheap imports, and is currently employing fewer workers than before.
Read more about these challenges >>
Or check out these gorgeous Woodin prints at Pinterest >>
Happiness to measure development?
2015 is the “end” of the UN’s eight Millenium Developmental Goals (MDG’s) – the year when all set goals and milestones are to be met. Every year the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) presents a Human Development Report that aims to illustrate how the worlds countries are doing. The report usually revolve around several social as well as economic aspecs and includes the Human Development Index (HDI), which is a statistical representation of country’s respective indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment and income.
The last human development report was published in 2013 and named “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a diverse world” (2013). According to that one, Ghana ranked number 135 in the HDI. The indexing was based on figures from 2012 and in the preceding human development report “Sustainability and Equity: A better future for all” (2011), the number (135) was the same. A country’s position in the index is however a relative measurement – so changes or developments within the country can accordingly not be derived solely by looking at the relative position. When the next report and HDI is coming is not yet official, but here at VoluntaryAid we keep our eyes open :)
As an alternative to GDP’s and GNP’s, the HDI is an effective way of addressing other factors than pure finical ones. Another way of measuring development that have received increased attention lately is the consideration of happiness as an indicator for a country’s state of development. Check out this really interesting article about why happiness is a good way to measure development!
Check out the article >>