UK Alternative Service Breaks - Ghana (credit-bearing)
Global Youth Education
Course Dates: Various Depending Upon Learning Contract
Program Dates: May 11- May 25, 2019
NOTE: Students must first apply and be accepted to the UK Alternative Service Breaks program before applying through UK Education Abroad. UK Education Abroad applications will not be considered until accepted by UK ASB’s Program Coordinators. To apply to a UK ASB program, visit: www.ukasb.org/apply.
UK Alternative Service Breaks (ASB) volunteers traveling to Accra, Ghana will work through Ubelong, a social ventured based in Washington, DC founded “to advance international development efforts and promote cross-cultural understanding.” Recognized nationally for its work with U.S. volunteers, Ubelong uses a bottom-up approach to identify local development challenges and help mobilize the necessary resources – connecting volunteers and local partners around the world. In Accra, Ghana, Ubelong places volunteers with the non-profit organization, Cheerful Hearts Foundation (CHF), which works across multiple local development initiatives. Located in Kasoa, just outside the capital city of Accra, CHF sponsors initiatives with a particular focus on education, health, and human rights, each of which plagues Greater Accra.
According to Ubelong, “Greater Accra is caught in a web of complex problems that negatively affect access to quality education. Deficient infrastructure, overcrowded classes, and materials shortages are common problems. There is a 40 percent school dropout rate in the area, mostly affecting girls who leave school to sell goods at the local market.
Unemployment is high, forcing many families to seasonal migration, which also affects their children’s school attendance. Children’s malnutrition is another challenge that affects learning.”
Thus, UK ASB volunteers working with CHF will work with teachers in elementary, middle, and/or high schools to help create more interactive and student-centered learning environments. They will bring enthusiasm to class activities – engaging the students to help them learn, stay motivated, and attend school – and broaden students’ views about different people and places. UK ASB will be placed in small groups, assigned a school, and assigned a subject based upon their interests and their local partners’ needs prior to or upon arrival in Ghana. Volunteers will stay in local housing identified by Ubelong while in Ghana, and partake of local food, which will be provided by local partners. Volunteers will work at their school placement during the week, Monday-Friday, and on the weekends, UK ASB will coordinate excursions to nearby cities. All free time activities will be coordinated and led by the group and will include opportunities to learn more about the history and culture of Ghana. This may include daytime or overnight trips to Accra, the capital city of Ghana, and Cape Coast, a nearby coastal city with beautiful natural resources and a rich history related to the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Ghana is often described as the beacon of the African continent – since becoming the first African country to gain independence, Ghana has borne the torch of inspiration for its neighbors. Ghana is one of the most robust democracies in the region and it has sustained high levels of economic growth in the past two decades. Positive economic indicators are mostly related to the exploitation of its rich natural resources, especially cocoa, gold and oil. However, despite significant progress in raising the living standards of the population, poverty remains a serious issue in Ghana. As the country continues its transition from an agricultural society to a market-based economy, rapid and chaotic urbanization is at the core of many of the poverty-related problems the country faces today. For a country of roughly 25 million, Ghana is extremely diverse. Including English, 78 languages (nine of which are government-sponsored) and hundreds of dialects are spoken by dozens of ethnic and tribal groups. Although Ghana is presented as a model for African modernization, traditions are carefully preserved. Religion is central to life in Ghana, which is predominantly Christian (including many denominations). Islam and traditional African religions comprise significant minorities, particularly in the north of the country. And yet, Ghana is considered one of the most tolerant and harmonious countries in Africa. Despite multiple social and economic challenges, the last two decades of stability have made Ghanaians rightly optimistic for their future.
Group flights to Ghana will be booked by UK ASB, and students will depart as a group from Lexington to Ghana, and return as a group from Ghana to Lexington.
For more information about Ubelong, visit: www.ubelong.org.
All students accepted to the UK ASB Program have the option to enroll in EXP 396-172, “Active Citizenship Training for Students.” The primary purpose of this course is to provide UK ASB student participants with the opportunity to explore concepts of service leadership and active citizenship. This course will also prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary to reflect critically upon their UK ASB experience, which is embedded into the course.
Additionally, this course is intended to provide to deepen student learning through their UK ASB experience and encourage student action before, during, and after students’ UK ASB experience. This course is intended to complement students’ leadership experiences in the UK ASB program, thus, existing expectations of all ASB participants will be expectations of the course as well. In addition, UK ASB student participants who opt to enroll in EXP 396-172 as a part of their UK ASB experience will be required to participate in supplementary class meetings and campus activities, etc.
This program is also offered as a non-credit program. Please visit UK Alternative Service Breaks - Ghana (non-credit) for more information.
- Mission: UK ASB's mission is to provide quality and fulfilling alternative service breaks that mutually benefit community partners and student participants through direct service, issue education, group reflection, and cultural immersion, in communities beyond the borders of Lexington and Kentucky.
- Vision: UK ASB's vision is of a campus of socially aware student citizens seeking to make a positive impact in the local and global community.
- Philosophy: UK ASB's philosophy is that quality community service, particularly service immersion, must involve: 1) Strong, direct service to address unmet community needs, 2) Broad education and deep reflection about social issues facing communities, and 3) Exposure to the character and culture of the diverse communities in which we serve
- Approach: UK ASB's approach is deeply rooted in Break Away’s “Active Citizen Continuum” and “Eight Components of a Quality Break Program,” which include:
- Strong Direct Service
- Alcohol and Other Drug-Free
This program is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all academic disciplines who are in good standing with the university. Please note, students are only eligible for this program if they have previously applied and been accepted to the UK ASB Program. For more information or if you have questions, contact UK ASB at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit the UK ASB Website
This program is also offered as a non-credit program. Please visit Alternative Service Breaks - Ghana (non-credit) for more information.
Undergraduate students choosing to earn credit will enroll in EXP 396-172: Experiential Education: Active Citizenship Training for Students. The course will meet regularly during the spring semester, with a required travel component May 13-29, 2016.
Housing & Meals
Volunteers will stay in local housing provided by Ubelong and paid for by UK ASB through students’ program fees while in Ghana. Volunteers will be housed at Sara-Boff Hotel in Kasoa, Ghana in double rooms each equipped with two double beds and a shared bathroom, separated by genders.
Volunteers will partake of local food provided by Sara-Boff Hotel and paid for by UK ASB through students’ program fees (breakfast, dinner). Volunteers will either pack lunches each morning or eat lunch at their host school depending upon their placement. All meals and supplemental snacks will be provided to volunteers paid for by UK ASB through students’ program fees during their stay in Ghana. Students will be responsible for paying out of pocket for any meals they choose to purchase in the airport traveling to/from Ghana.
This program is run in collaboration with the UK Alternative Service Breaks Program and their community partners in Ghana, Ubelong and the Cheerful Hearts Foundation. Students must complete an application with UK Education Abroad per university policy because they are traveling abroad. Again, students must have previously applied and been accepted to the UK ASB Program and as a Ubelong Volunteer before completing an application with UK Education Abroad.
Scholarships & Financial Aid
Students are strongly encouraged to explore all funding opportunities for programs abroad. There are numerous opportunities available based on the area of study, program type, length, and country of destination.
Many financial aid packages (scholarships, loans and grants) used for on-campus study can be applied to education abroad programs. Students who qualify for financial aid should consult with their UK Financial Aid counselor as soon as possible to apply for funding.
The New Horizons Scholarship - The Selection Committee awards need-based scholarships to UK students in the amounts of $500 for spring embedded program participants and students participating in Alternative Spring Break programs for academic credit. The deadline application materials is November 1st.
For more information about scholarship and funding opportunities, please visit the UK Education Abroad Financial Aid & Scholarships resource page.
Costs and cancellation policies vary by program, so it is important to review this information very carefully before applying for a program through UK Education Abroad. For more information about program costs and cancellation policies for this program, visit UK ASB’s website and click on “Program Payments” and/or “Program Policies.”
Passport & Visa Requirements
- Participants must also obtain a yellow fever vaccination and documentation for said vaccination for entry into Ghana.
Travel Medical Insurance
- All participants of this program will be enrolled in Travel Medical Insurance for the duration of the program. Participants wishing to travel before or after the official program dates are strongly encouraged to purchase additional coverage for the extended travel dates. Please see the UK Education Abroad Health & Safety website for more information.
In support of the University of Kentucky's compelling interest in the educational benefit of diversity within the UK Student body, UK Education Abroad encourages all students to apply for an education abroad program that best suits their academic and personal needs. For more information, please see our diversity abroad resources, here.
For More Information
For additional information about this program, please contact:
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