This program seeks to highlight the social justice consciousness pervasive in Ghana’s higher education. As one of the first countries to gain independence in Africa, Ghanaians have continued to maintain pride in pioneering movements that have had a ripple impact across the rest of the continent and beyond. Today there are many social movements spearheaded by those most impacted, the youth. On this Alternative Break experience, AU students will learn from Ghanaian locals and leaders about existing social movements around higher education in Ghana and how to amplify social justice in Ghana, the states, and beyond.
Dates of Engagement: March 11 - March 18, 2023
Estimated Cost: $2,700*
*Travel grants available on application.
Houssaynatou Barry is pursuing a master’s in International Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) student with a concentration in Africa at SIS. She held several public service internships as an undergraduate, including the New York City Department of Consumers Affairs, Reading Partners, and New York Public Library. These opportunities, combined with her passion for public service and education, inspired her to pursue and obtain a Fulbright Fellowship. As a 2019-2020 Fulbright Fellow, she traveled to Ghana to research the effects of free education on girls living in less privileged communities. Houssaynatou is an admirer of the African continent, and with the combination of her two favorite fields, that being education and public service, as the main social justice theme of this program, she looks forward to experiencing this journey with fellow AU students.
Gassiatu M. Gassama is a Sierra Leonean-American pursuing a Master’s in International Development (ID) with a focus on Global Health at the School of International Service. She lived in Sierra Leone from 2012 to 2014, and attended the Lebanese International School LTD, a well-known school in Freetown receiving a IGCSE certificate in General Science. As a 2021-2022 White House intern, she served at the Office of National Drug Control Policy on various projects promoting transparency and awareness about substance use disorders and the opioid crisis affecting Americans. Her passion for missionary work, assisting at-risk youths suffering from drug addiction, and reducing poverty and homelessness in West Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone, was further fueled by the consequences of the Ebola epidemic in 2014 on numerous youths. Gassiatu is thrilled to share her unique international background and lived experience, as well as her passion for youth development and social justice, with AU students during this alternative spring break opportunity.
Day 1: Arrival. Tour 2 main historical attractions (Independence Square & Black Star Gate).
Day 2: Orientation at the University of Ghana (UG), including a lecture on Ghana history. Participate in a discussion forum with UG students on 3 social movements in Ghana.
Day 3: Day-long service project at a local NGO specializing in education for children.
Day 4: Continuation of service project at local NGO.
Day 5: Travel to Cape Coast to visit two slave castles (Cape Coast & Elmina Slave Castles) and Kakum National Park.
Day 6: Visit the U.S. Embassy and participate in a panel discussion on student life and American culture hosted by EducationUSA. Followed by a Q&A with audience members and networking.
Day 7: Visit W .E. B. DuBois Centre for Pan African Culture, followed by a trip to the National Center for Culture market to view and shop for locally made items.