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Art & Visual Cultural Experiential Learning

Raised toward our $6,000 Goal
18 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on March 20, at 05:00 PM CDT
Project Owners

Art & Visual Cultural Experiential Learning

Ghana: Developing Perspective

The Ghana: Developing Perspective service-learning travel course is an educational adventure with a conscience. Students will experience the unique culture of Ghana with a special focus on art and design traditions particular to different tribal groups including traditions associated with dance, food, government systems, and the history of slave trade. Understanding this environment will include an exploration of the diverse flora and fauna. Hands-on workshops with artisans will provide an understanding of the people and processes that create traditional crafts. In partnership with students and teachers at a rural high school, students will put what they’ve learned into action to develop income-generating products for the school.

Your support will open doors for more students to make this unique opportunity a reality and provide them with the opportunity to:

  • Gain an understanding of and respect for the Ghanaian culture through immersion

  • Directly observe the results of various development models as applied to Ghana

  • Begin to understand how different cultures adapt and respond to their environments

  • Obtain a basic understanding of how Ghana’s environment has affected its culture

  • Gain an increased level of interest and confidence for future travel and cultural exchange

  • Gain an appreciation for service-learning by working directly with Ghanaian craft artists

  • Understand the need to consider cultural context when developing design solutions

  • Develop confidence in collaborating with individuals in diverse group situations while overcoming language and culture barriers

  • Begin to grasp the importance of applying technologies that are appropriate for a given place

  • Gain first-hand experience of Ghanaian customs, arts and design

Every donation helps students to begin their journey of transformation. 


Medaase Paa! (Thank you very much)!



A few photos from the 2015/2016 adventure:





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This is an expression students will see and hear numerous times on this journey. Ghana is known for the hospitality and friendliness of the people, something students will experience daily as they travel the country. Akwaaba! means ‘Welcome’! And it’s genuine.



One of the first ways we are often introduced to a new culture is through the food. It won’t take long after landing to discover which of the travelers have the most open and adventuresome spirits. Everyone will try something new. Everyone will be surprised by something that they like. And everyone will come home with an interesting culinary story to share. Fufu is a favorite dish for many Ghanaians.



Traditional crafts are integrally tied to Ghanaian culture and Kente, a cloth made of intricately woven strips, may be the most iconic. As students learn directly from artisans about their crafts such as Kente, bead making, brass casting, wood carving, fabric dyeing, etc., they’ll also be absorbing knowledge about the people and history of Ghana.



Our environment is fundamental to who we are and how we function. For a country about the size of Oregon, Ghana’s natural environment is very diverse. Between the sandy seashores of the south and the desert-like Sahel of the north, lies everything from tropical rain-forest to woodlands, and savanna. Students will have a chance to observe, explore, and experience these diverse ecosystems, including a stop at Mole National Park where a walking safari may give them an up close and personal view of African elephants in the wild. The shy Pangolin, (an endangered, scaly anteater), is more illusive.



"Fie" is Twi for house or home. Like the landscape, the architecture in Ghana varies greatly. Whether mud and thatch, brick and tin, or steel and concrete, ‘home’ is what we call the places where we live. Students will contemplate what we need to be happy and healthy, and what it means to live sustainably. They’ll also come to appreciate ‘home’ as being much more than any type of structure.


Wo Ko He?

It seems very strange when you first hear this common Akan phrase cast in your direction, "Where are you going"?! But as you settle into the rhythm of the country, you come to realize that it’s a friendly, caring, gesture akin to “Hello, How are you”?, combined with “Can I help you find…”? Don’t be surprised if students who are able to go on this journey, return home with a more defined sense of life direction and the confidence to reach their destination.


Obruni to Adamfo

There are different ways to travel. Often times we travel to spend time with friends or family. Sometimes we travel to escape and relax. Other times we’re seeking new knowledge, experiences, or ideas. While we hope that the students who are fortunate enough to be a part of this learning tour experience at least a little of all those things, the service-learning projects provide a unique situation for something deeper. A transformation often happens when working alongside peers and counterparts toward a common goal. When first arriving in Ghana it's common to be called "Obruni", which means white man/foreigner, but by the time comes to depart, many will be called "Adomfo" which means friend.

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