Learn and Serve in Ghana (2005-2013)
In 2005 the ALS Department first offered a "Ghana: Learn & Serve" (January Intersession) course initiated and designed by Dr. Kathleen O'Mara. It combined lectures from the director and Ghanaian universities' faculty on oral literature, art, media, and the history and cultures of Ghana. A longer stay in Cape Coast involved deeper learning about the effects of the European slave trade on Ghana/West Africa, internal resistance, and cultural memory. The study was enhanced by community/village service. Over several years our students helped to renovate a building to create a community library, stock it with donated and purchased books and raise funds for a clinic at Kwabeng, Eastern Region, 2005-10.
A subsequent project involved raising funds and then helping to construct a village clinic in Quigbey, Volta Region in 2011. A long intersession in 2012 became a short term internship for eighteen students who worked at orphanages, a school, TV Africa, a police station, and NGOs delivering HIV outreach and community education. By year four of Learn & Serve other ALS faculty began to accompany Dr. O'Mara on the annual event - Drs. Rob Compton, Ibram Rogers, Caridad Souza, and Betty Wambui - making the Ghana experience a signature event for the ALS Department.