Teach Creative Writing To Children In Ghana This Summer

Here's a wonderful video about Aba House. Meet the children. Listen to some very nice music and see some of their creative work. Handmade paper notebooks and T-shirts being screen printed. Beautiful!

I learned about Cross Cultural Collaborative a few years ago when I met Ellie aka "Aba" and created a blog for the website and did some other social media consulting. She is truly a remarkable woman and does so many amazing things.

Currently, she is looking for a volunteer for this summer, so I said that I'd help her spread the word. Below is some more information in her words with some added links and emphasis.

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Cross Cultural Collaborative is an educational NGO that encourages creative interaction between people of all ages and nationalities while focusing on cultural exchanges. We are located in a fishing village in Ghana in a cultural center/guest house (Aba House) and as part of our committment to interacting with the community we invite the neighborhood children to join us.

We teach them to be outrageously creative and to ‘think outside the box.’ Children are not encouraged to do this in school and we feel that it’s an important element for growing up in a developing country where creative thinking is a survival skill.

We offer a safe, nurturing environment where the children develop self esteem and a sense of empowerment. In order to break the ‘give me-begging cycle’ that African children fall into, we said, “Come here and work and earn school expenses.”

Now the children make paper from sugar cane leaves and journals from the paper. These are sold and the money helps to support the children’s education.

We want to start a writing initiative, giving the children the opportunity to learn practical skills in computer literacy in a fun way and to teach them electronic design and layout while at the same time reinforcing literacy through creative writing and illustrating.

Very few children have story books. We started a library at Aba House and had to explain how you sign out a book and then bring it back so you can get another one. There are no story books in the public schools in Ghana. On occassion books are donated by westerners and they have no cultural relevance.

It is our mission to have the children write culturally relevant stories, ones that reflect their lives, imaginations, ideas and desires. We plan to publish the stories, donate the storybooks to Ghanaian schools and to go into classrooms to start story hours.

We are excited about this initiative because it will teach computer skills which will be a valuable employment tool for our kids when they enter the work force and literacy in general will improve. And perhaps best of all, the kids will once again, be outrageously creative.

We are a small, pretty much self funded NGO, depending on volunteers and donors who value cultural understanding. The children we work with in Ghana are rich in spirit.

Because they are growing up in a developing country they just need a little help to catch up with those in the developed world.

We are looking for a volunteer for July and/or August 2013 to teach our children creative writing. Our mission is two fold. To teach the children computer skills in an interesting way and to self publish culturally relevant stories that will be written and illustrated by the children.

We are offering free room and 2 meals a day and the opportunity to live in an African village and interact with local artists.

Volunteer will have to pay own airfare and incidental expenses. Minimum commitment is 2 weeks. Longer stay is possible.

If you qualify and would like to spend the summer in Ghana, contact aba@culturalcollaborative.org
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This would be an amazing opportunity and experience for anyone. I'd love to do it myself. If anyone knows about travel grants, please let me know! I'll be doing some research as well.

*Updated 4/2/2013* Thank you for the response! Ellie has two people now. If you are interested at this point, you would need to pay for your room and food.

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Anonymous said…
What an amazing opportunity! Thanks for sharing this! I'll have to tuck it away for the next time our international grant is available.
Lisa Johnson said…
campbele - You're welcome!

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