At the beginning of 2017, Claudia White spent three months in the capital city of Tamale, Ghana, volunteering with the charity Create Change in partnership with the International Citizen Service. Claudia worked to further their mission of championing education for women and girls in Ghana. Claudia was supported in her volunteer work by a £300 Individual Grant for Volunteering from the Jack Petchey Foundation.
Claudia worked as part of a team of seven other Ghanaian and British volunteers. Over the three-month placement, Claudia and her team worked with the interns at Create Change to help expand resources for the Girl’s Clubs that they lead in various communities and schools. Their team gave guidance on how to improve the project and also led peer education sessions with them on topics such as public speaking and internet skills, to further their knowledge and make the charity more sustainable.
As well as working alongside the charity, Claudia also helped them to administer some of the Girl’s Clubs and community sensitisations in which she spoke to the community about girl’s education and distributed questionnaires to assess the impact of the Create Change’s. In order to promote their work, Claudia and her team built a relationship with a local radio station and secured a weekly slot to talk about the various aspects of female education. They also established relationships with new schools and lead a session for junior and senior high school students. Claudia and her team also celebrated International Women’s Day by organising a panel of inspirational women to talk about their experiences, an interactive ‘pledge wall’ and drama performances.
Claudia felt that her team were successful in pushing Create Change further towards their goal of total sustainability- a charity run for girls, by girls. They also made an impact in the communities and schools that they visited, changing local views about girl’s education and giving girls the confidence to speak out about their desire to stay in school.
Claudia felt that she learnt a lot from her time in Ghana saying, “The experience gave me a greater understanding of international development and a wide range of skills to use in both my personal and professional life. For example, there were some occasions when things didn’t go to plan and we had to think quickly to come up with a solution that meant doing what’s best for the charity whilst not ruining their reputation in the community. I also gained more confidence and got to meet some incredible people.”
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