AFRICA Seed’s work with groups in Africa ranges from small grassroots groups to formal, medium-sized and national organizations. We would like to present some of the individuals we have worked with as well as the groups and organizations we have worked with over the years.
Trips to Ghana often found us in the capital city of Accra where many early childhood programs were implementing their version of the UNICEF initiative Learning Through Play. However, travels have taken us to the harbor City of Tema many times. I even learned how to catch and ride the TroTro (local jitney bus equivalent) to the two small towns of Tshi -Nungua to visit my favorite place, the art gallery of amazing young artists from around West Africa run initially by Professor Blade.
Trips over the years to Accra allowed AFRICA Seed to learn much about the struggle of early childhood educators to change to a play-based classroom experience for young children. Visits to suburban small towns and rural areas also offered a lot to learn.
What was most impressive was that school owners and teachers around the country found themselves supporting poor children whose parent or parents could not afford school fees.
When AFRICA Seed was able to host 10 school heads in the homes of Bank Street College of Education affiliates, New York City educators, as well as AFRICA Seed New Jersey board members, everyone learned a lot. Just as I couldn't understand why people were not jumping when these little creatures with unmistakable bright colors scooted quickly pass people's feet while in Ghana (geckos), these educators could not understand why I was not commenting as we toured the suburbs on these large, furry, bushy-tailed creatures who wererunning up and down trees (squirrels).
People like Teacher Esther at the Makola Market Day Care Center opened up their lives to allow observations in their classrooms for research and documentation during AFRICA Seed visits. I visited her each time I was in Accra over the years until one visit found her to be the school head.
More formal experiences showed how The Model School (a government Lab School) implemented the Learning Through Play approach and gave children a quality early education. Research and observations in the Teacher Training Colleges showed that Learning Through Play could be effectively Africanized, especially when teachers made their own materials. Ghana is used to being considered the leader in modernized education and certainly has done so in finding ways for it at the preschool level in their capital city.
Visits and talks with one of the department heads at the Ministry of Education led to an actual change in perspective that assisted teachers in a cost-effective way; and interactions with their national early childhood association led to having local people skilled in woodwork making blocks and puzzles with African themes instead of purchasing them with European motifs from European countries.
Making it your own and keeping it African is a theme of AFRICA Seed.
We actively support showing organizations, programs, and projects how to use their existing resources to solve their problems or make needed improvements that they have wanted.
WHAT’S HAPPENING - GHANA