UC Student Organization Donates to Education System in Ghana
UC’s African Students’ Association created its own mission trip to achieve its overall goal of working toward the advancement of Africa.
The University of Cincinnati’s African Students’ Association (UCASA) is headed by senior Kayla Iheukwu, fourth-year psychology major from Columbus, Ohio. She knew she wanted to explore Africa before graduating, so UCASA began searching for places to go. Iheukwu was assisted by UC International Program Director Nicole Jenkins who helped organize the details of the trip – a first of its kind for UCASA. After research, Ghana fit all of the criteria the five girls in UCASA were looking for – including its location and having English-speaking citizens – plus, it also serves as UCASA member Nana Entsuah’s home.
“For me, it was a going-home trip and a great opportunity to serve my hometown. The kids we met were beautiful, beautiful children. They were just so warm and open,” Entsuah said.
The most significant issue the group found was the low literacy rate among education programs in Ghana. UCASA members partnered with Good Samaritan School in Cape Coast, Ghana, where they assisted in many ways.
“Our task was to assist the teachers and make our own lesson to teach the students. We also got to pick our donations. We went to each classroom and looked at the things that were missing and went shopping for those supplies. It was great to see our work play out,” Iheukwu said.
Being able to teach basic subjects such as math, English, science and music allowed the girls to interact with the children on a one-on-one basis. Iheukwu and Entsuah both agreed that they were surprised as to how advanced and polite the students were in the classroom.
“I found that the materials they were covering in sixth grade were materials we wouldn’t cover until ninth or 10th grade here. I was in a sixth grade science class and they were covering the heart and human anatomy. So that blew my mind,” Entsuah said.
“The students say ‘yes madam,’ and how they address their teacher is very respectable. I didn’t think someone at that age would know the proper ways to do that, and it was nice to see that tradition within their culture,” said Iheukwu.
Overall, the girls enjoyed interacting with the children and watching their donations come to life within classrooms. They are already making plans to go again.
“I absolutely want to go back. I’m already planning my next trip,” Iheukwu said.