Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Updates from Sankofa and New Life

Things have been wonderfully busy here in Ghana! The work at Sankofa is going well. Each day, we take the slower children from each English class to work on catching them up with their peers. Each volunteer takes 2 to 4 children, so they can get more specialized attention. The hope is that they will be able to grasp concepts like phonics while we're here, so that their English reading skills will be closer to where the rest of the class is when we leave. So far, the children have shown amazing progress. Some just needed a little bit more understanding of basic concepts and have really taken off. Others are still a little slower, but hopefully after we leave other volunteers will be able to do the same with the things we're leaving behind.

The teachers at Sankofa are truly wonderful. They give up so much of their own time for very little pay to help these children who would otherwise have no education at all. Though they learn under a bamboo roof with a dirt floor, the key is that they are learning.

New Life has grown in leaps and bounds since my last trip three years ago! The new building is nearly complete, and a new classroom is being built for the nursery children. At the moment, nursery, KG (kindergarten) 1, and KG 2, and class 1 are all in the same classroom-- this is obviously chaotic. There is not enough room for the children to properly learn, and there is far too much noise. The new classroom is going up quickly, however! It's a joy to watch the children play on the playground and to see the progression of those who are now three years ahead of when I last taught them.

We will be coming home in a week, and what a trip it has been! Pictures and video will be up when I get some time after coming home, and I'll post snippets and stories about the children and volunteers as well!

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