As you may know, one of our team members, Isabella Narvaez is currently in Ghana working on developing SeedKits through our ongoing partnership with The Exploratory in Nsawam. We're very excited to follow along her internship over the next two months! Here's her blog post from her first week there:
Hello SeedKit friends!
I arrived to Ghana a week ago and, after a long day of traveling, was greeted by Connie’s welcoming smile (Connie is the founder of The Exploratory)! We drove home to Nsawam and I quickly realized how much the landscape resembles that of my hometown Cali, Colombia—the palm trees, the mountains, and the warm weather made me feel at home.
So much has happened since I got here!! I’ve meet really cool people who have amazing stories to tell and important questions to ask. These are a few of the events…
This week I joined The Exploratory staff in teacher trainings at three different schools in Accra. Teachers were introduced to RACHEL offline, a web platform that essentially provides a virtual library for schools in remote areas where Internet access is not feasible. RACHEL can be used to supplement learning of both teachers and students by providing resources such as Khan Academy, online textbooks from Ck-12, TED (talks), Radiolab, and Wikipedia, among others. Thanks to a grant form the Australian High Commission (Ghana), The Exploratory will be able to provide RACHEL to 17 schools in the Greater Accra Region. Musapha, a 3rd year student at the University of Education, Winneba, has been working with The Exploratory as a representative for RACHEL offline. He has helped the teachers familiarize with the tool and learn how to use it to supplement their lessons. We hope to get some feedback from the teachers and students at the end of the summer on how to use and improve RACHEL!
On Thursday, Connie and I went to visit the Orthopedic Training Centre (OTC), down the road in Nsawam, with the goal of establishing a relationship between the two organizations. There we met Gloria. There is no other way to describe her but as a powerful force of nature. She is incredibly passionate about her work and would do whatever it takes to help the people around her. We walked around the beautiful grounds with her and she taught us about the work they do at OTC. The centre houses people with disabilities of all ages, short and long term depending on their rehab plan. During our visit, we discovered that bringing girls from The Exploratory and OTC together might be an incredible learning experience for both. What better way of learning than from another amazing group of young women?!
Yesterday, Connie and I ventured into Accra to attend Africa Dialogues 2017, a platform where leaders from around the continent encourage a conversation about pressing issues in education, human rights, and gender inequality, among other. The conference titled “The Dreams we dare not; the Africa we want”, hoped to initiate discussion about the African Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. One of my favorite speakers was Cecil Senna Nutakor, the CEO of Equinox Intercom Ltd. and founder of eCampus. Cecil’s early years in school were marked by failure. He grew up in a family of successful parents who expected him to excel. Parents and teachers alike pushed him to learn in ways that he found hostile, and punished him for every mistake. After lots of struggle, Cecil discovered the power of self-paced learning. He found the learning tools and space necessary to develop the creativity that had been suppressed throughout Junior and Senior High School. Today, he is an inspiring figure in Africa and an avid advocate for self-paced learning. His words were a reminder that education is an individual process. Students understand the world differently and at their own pace. Those differences should be identified and encouraged by teachers through environments conducive of creativity
This week I will be visiting other schools near Nsawam. Can’t wait to meet some more cool people!