By Kerrie Purdy
Over the spring break 15 students and five adults from Elkford, Sparwood, Invermere and Castlegar embarked on an adventure of a life time, to the Western Region of Ghana in Africa to volunteer in the village of Nyameyekrom to begin building an elementary school for the local children.
The group persevered through extremely hot temperatures to dig the foundation with picks and shovels and make bricks from sand, cement and water. After three days of working, the foundation was finished and the work of laying bricks with mortar began. The students participated in a “water walk” with the local women and children to the water hole to carry water containers on their heads back to the build site. Once work was completed for the day the students were able to visit with the village children, participating in games and songs.
During the evening, the students took part in language and leadership development sessions led by the “Me To We” facilitators. On two separate occasions guest speakers gave talks to the group on poverty, hunger, colonization and HIV.
One day of the trip was a “tourist day” whereby the group went on a canopy walk at Kakum National Park in the tropical rainforest which entailed walking on rope suspension bridges 40 metres off the ground. In the afternoon the group was taken to the Cape Coast Castle, a historical fort known as the “Gateway to Africa” during the slave trade time. The group experienced a guided tour of the castle, learning about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
The group returned home well equipped with newly developed leadership skills and the experiences to be able to make a difference in the world we all share. The trip was organized through EFtours in partnership with Me to We/Free the Children.