Participating in Erasmus+ project “STEP Forward” in Ghana

Erasmus+ is global. Many people believe that is a privilege only for European countries, but this is not the case anymore. WE AfriHug team was invited to participate in the European project «STEP Forward» in the framework of Erasmus+, Key Action 2: Capacity Building in the field of youth.

An intense experience of 10 days that took place in Tamale, the capital town of the Northern Region of Ghana, 600 km north of Accra.  Tamale is a mostly a Muslim community and it is perceived as one of the most developing cities in Ghana.

Departing from Peru, Vietnam, Spain, Kenya and Greece, we arrived in Tamale on 1st of May 2018. Representing different NGOs from different parts of the world, we were all determined to live 10 productive days with the aim to interact with the local community, the “forgotten students”, come in contact with policy makers and stakeholders, to be informed about the projects of the hosting organization with the final aim to create a non-formal education activity.

The coordinator of the project is Inter Alia organization from Greece and the participating organizations are Sedarvp Ghana, Brigada De Voluntarios Bolivarianos del Peru, Xeración and Asociación Projuven from Spain, Resource Hub for Development from Kenya and Solidarites Jeunesses Vietnam.

STEP Forward Project links active citizenship to formal education by drawing attention to the values of sustainability and integrating them to non-formal education activities. STEP Forward Project aims at promoting the application of active and participatory education through experiential activities and solution-oriented educational approach. By exploring alternative community models, social and ecological initiatives the project uses information and resources to design a new educational module with the scope to integrate these in the formal education system.

The main target group of the Job-Shadowing in Tamale was the “Forgotten Students”, talented footballers that lack of chances & opportunities and cannot perform academically. We shared ideas about sustainable and innovative practices regarding the talented but forgotten students and how they could be socially integrated through sports. We met with these students, discussed with them and we had the chance to learn their obstacles and dreams regarding their future career. The only way to finalize this meeting was a friendly football match between all of us and the students. Sports have been always a means to bring people together, motivate and unify them for a good cause.

Furthermore, we met stakeholders in the field of sports and education, teachers, sports journalists and former footballers and shared their opinions regarding the social inclusion through sports and after working in groups, we developed interventions and future practices.

We also visited the social enterprise Pagsung ICS, an initiative which contributes at women empowerment and has a significant impact on the well-being of the whole community. Before this initiative, women usually were depending on their husbands for income, food and education of their children. Safia, Founder of the enterprise and Queen of the Region is putting all her effort to empower the women of the Region.

Moreover, one of the innovative projects of the hosting organizations, Sedarvp Ghana, is the Street Library, gathering children and motivating them to read creating friendly and inclusive environment. Their aim is to expand to more communities and give the chance to more children to read in their leisure time.

The final result of the project in Tamale was the development of a non-formal education activity for the “forgotten students” which aims at the creation of an inclusive environment in which they can develop soft skills and enhance their talent.

During these 10 days, we shared and gained knowledge and got to know better the Northern Ghanaian Culture. Glad to see in practice how Erasmus+ becomes global.