Hello from Ghana! I have officially been in Ghana for a month (as of June 29th!) but have had very limited internet access, so get ready to be bombarded with blog posts! I’d like to use this first post to introduce myself and the internship that has brought me to Dalun, Ghana.
My name is Alison Crawford and I am a rising senior (!) at Haverford College. I am an English Major and Education Minor, and it was primarily my interest in Education that led me to this internship. This summer I am spending 10 weeks as an intern for Titagya Schools in Dalun, Ghana. Titagya Schools is a young NGO co-founded by Haverford Alum Andrew Garza ’08. Titagya’s primary mission is to offer affordable and excellent pre-primary education to students in the small village of Dalun in Northern Ghana. Pre-primary education is not as easily found in Northern Ghana as in the Southern region of the country, and furthermore, is usually very expensive. However, research shows that pre-primary education serves as a fundamental building block for more success once the student reaches the primary level.
I first heard of Titagya from Professor Alice Lesnick in Spring 2009, in her class “Empowering Learners.” At the time she spoke of a young alum who was starting a school in Ghana and I recall thinking “Wow, that sounds incredible! But can he really pull it off?!” This bit of cynicism was eradicated when I spoke with Andrew for the first time, after being connected to him through Alison Castel in the CPGC. I went to Alison expressing an interest in an internship involving education, somewhere in Africa, a country I had read a lot about and was very curious to visit. Alison mentioned Titagya Schools rights away, and I left our meeting feeling like the serendipity of the opportunity was a definite sign that this was to be my internship project.
Andrew and I talked over the phone a few times in November/December 2009, and I was delighted to hear that I was selected to be one of the two Titagya Summer Interns in late December. Thus began my sixth month preparation for the trip! Preparing my CPGC application for funding was a long but rewarding process. Professor Ruti Talmor aided me greatly in independent study of Ghana, and provided me both academic and essential practical knowledge garnered from her research experience in Ghana. All the while I was a bit in shock: I’m going to Ghana! It was very real, but also a dream, and I had the feeling that it wouldn’t feel actualized until I set foot in Ghana.