The School of Human Environmental Sciences (HES) continues its work to strengthen families in Ghana and to offer international experiences for our students. During the summer of 2012, two groups coordinated through HES traveled to Ghana to study and work.
Dr. Kwaku Addo, Interim Chair of Merchandising, Apparel & Textiles at UK and co-founder of the Kentucky Academy, leads a study tour to Ghana each summer. This year’s tour was conducted in collaboration with Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), with leadership from Dr. James Wilson, Director of the Honors Program at PVAMU. The tour took place May 21st through June 4th and included a total of seventeen students.
The tour is designed to provide a broad-based international and cultural experience. Lectures presented by the staff of the University of Ghana provided a cultural view of the nation of Ghana. Topics included “Agricultural and Farming Systems in Ghana,” “The Role of Women in Development in Africa,” and “The Healthcare Delivery System in Ghana.” Tours of historical and cultural places of interest within Ghana were highlighted during the trip. The group visited the Elmina Castle (center for slave-trading), the W.E. B. Dubois Center, Accra Arts Center, the Kente Village of Bonwire, the Palace Museum of the King of Ashanti, and the Kakum National Rain Forest. The tour also included a visit to the historic villages of Aseseeso and Abonse for a traditional durbar and cultural displays by the chiefs and citizens of the area. Participants learned about the Ghanaian economy and visited the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana. The student group conducted service-learning activities at The Kentucky Academy in Adjeikrom and at SOS Orphanage in Tema.
In addition to the annual study tour, Dr. Janet Mullins, Associate Extension Professor in Dietetics and Human Nutrition, led a research and service trip in June. The purpose of this trip was to continue work to address hunger issues. A dining pavilion was constructed in 2010-11, and a meal service was initiated at the Kentucky Academy kindergarten. Since that time, a lunch program has been established at the primary school.
Dr. Mullins shared, “We were very pleased to learn that the Ghanaian government has initiated a school feeding program for the primary school in Adjeikrom! We were able to meet with the District Education Director and School Food Service Administrator. Because the government now has “food for education” in Adjeikrom, they will calculate an amount of funding to help with purchase of food for the kindergarten lunch meal. Employment of five cooks for the primary school and two cooks for the kindergarten provides seven much needed jobs for women in the village.”
The research and study group continued work to establish a school garden in efforts to move closer to sustainability. The travel group assisted with further clearing of a direct path to the garden.The School of Human Environmental Sciences looks forward to continuing work to improve the quality of life for families locally and globally and to providing opportunities for our students to gain international experience and knowledge.