OLPCorps Harvard University Volta Ghana
Ghana Youth: Reach Beyond is a 9-week intensive leadership-training program focused on educating children ranging from the ages of 8-12 years old at two public schools in Volta, Ghana. Per the help of Heart for Humanity, a NGO organization led by Paul Badasu, our team will hold daily workshops on pragmatic ways to become a leader of integrity, purpose and vision in the rural communities of Denu and daklu-Wumenu. Each section of the curriculum will focus intensely on empowering students at the Golden Children School and Adaklu-Wumenu La Primary School to use resources such as the XO laptop to become active change agents, aspiring to become the positive change they would like to see in their community, country and world.
Change. Although change has the potential to become a very abstract concept, our team defines it in a very pragmatic way. For Project Reach Beyond, progressive change is the creativity of doing what you can with what you have in order to leave a space better than you found it. In this way, the power to become a change agent is an opportunity available to everyone regardless of age or economic barriers. In sum, Project Reach Beyond is a unique initiative because it will help children identify their strengths as well as unique ways to make a difference on both small and large scales.
Empowerment: The importance of an organization like "One Laptop Per Child" lies not only in its capacity to place technology in the hands of children but also in it’s ability to empower children to self-educate. Having access to the World Wide Web, teaches children to be more than just passive recipients of information but independent thinkers that actively question, challenge and engage with their environment. Project Ghana Youth Reach Beyond will accent the mission of One Laptop Per Child because it will continuously stress the importance of self-education and academic curiosity.
With the help of One Laptop Per Child, Project Ghana Youth: Reach Beyond would distribute laptops to 100 students at 2 different schools in rural Ghana. In addition to teaching our students to be agents of change, our project will teach our students to use the XO system and applications. In addition, using the experience one of our group members has gained in interning at Google, Inc. our team will teach students how to find educational information on the internet using resources such as Google Scholar, Google Books and Google Search.
Pen Pal System. Upon the completion of our time in Ghana, our team will use a pen pal system that links leaders of various organizations and businesses in the USA to students in Ghana. This will doubly provide our students with an opportunity to gain valuable advice from successful leaders as well as an opportunity to use their XO laptops to network.
Heart for Humanity (HFA) Transition Team. Per the help of HFH, a transition team stationed in Ghana will help to sustain our efforts upon our departure. This team will continuously follow up with our students to ensure that they are getting the most out of their XO experiences. With the help of Google Analytics and Google Surveys, we will also send our students bi-monthly questionnaires to assess their satisfaction. Furthermore, this transition team will take over our curriculum in our absence so that students who may not be in school during the months of July and August will have the opportunity to benefit from the training upon their return.
Pay it Forward. The last aspect of our leadership training program will involve more deeply instilling the values of gratitude and reciprocation in our students. As a part of “Pay it Forward” our students will write various OLPC donors thank you letters that describe how XO has changed their lives. In addition to the thank you letters, our students will complete at least one community service activity during the program.
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