Dalun’s Youth Center is a very important hub of youth activity in the village. It is founded and funded by Danes, and there are Danish volunteers every so often who come to help out. The Youth Center is one of the first of its kind in this area, for it is very hard to bring any youth together, what with all of the political, ethnic, religious, or other divides. Dalun succeeded in spite of it all, and now anyone ages 13+ can officially join the organization (even someone 99 years old can join…they are still youth at heart!). The Youth Center essentially aims to create a huge network of communities, hopefully joining neighboring villages together and bringing peace and development.
They put on a number of programs or workshops and activities throughout the year, such as lessons in computer literacy, or sports programs. For example, in order to dispel the traditional notion that females just belong in the kitchen cooking and cleaning, the Youth Center helped form a girl’s soccer team, and they practice every single evening in a field not far from the center.
The Center especially emphasizes sports, for sports has the immense capability of bringing people together. This year marks the third annual sports festival, which is held here at the Simli Center, involving Danes and Ghanaians both from Dalun and other villages. One of the overall goals of this partnership is “Sports as a tool for development,” and so these volunteers are here for a week teaching one another and learning from one another about sports and sports education. They are broken up into groups – a mix of Danes and Ghanaians – and come up with ideas for games and sports activities to share with others, including the community at large. Today and tomorrow, the groups are actually travelling to neighboring villages, where they will be sharing these activities with the local people.
As you can see, the Youth Center is a pretty incredible place. Unfortunately, I haven’t had very many opportunities to stop by, but I hope that in my remaining less than 4 weeks (ah!) I can spend more time there getting to known the youth of Dalun!