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Global Service Learning and the Politics of Help in Ghana

Accra, Ghana

Term Offered: 
a solitary fishing boat on the ocean in Ghana
PC Creative Commons
Approximate Dates of Instruction: 
August 22, 2019 to September 13, 2019
Application Deadline: 
February 15, 2019
Information Session: January 17, 12:30-1:15, Padelford C101

So many of us are moved to help others because we care about equity, social justice, gender equity, and human rights. We want to assist others who may not have the same access, resources, or opportunities we might enjoy, and feel passionate about contributing to a better world. 

While this helping spirit is indeed wonderful, let's also take some time to ask critical questions about the politics of our good intentions and what help and care mean to different people. These discussions are more important than ever in our complex and increasingly unequal world. Every year though, thousands of Western students go abroad to volunteer and serve in less-resourced communities without any conversation on who we are, what we're actually doing, and the broader implications of our actions. 

This program seeks to shift the discourse in a small way by offering students service-learning opportunities in Ghana that are deeply embedded in conversations on identity, power, privilege, access, race, gender, and global ethics. In partnership with two well-established NGOs in Accra, Ghana, this program offers field experience focused on public health, human rights, gender equity, and education. UW students will collaborate with local community members, gain experience in rural contexts, better understand process-oriented ways of change, and consider what social change looks like through different people's eyes. Alongside field experience, we will partner with local Ghanaian college students and enjoy excursions to different parts of the city and region. We will also hear from various people who work for social change in the Accra area, including a feminist blogger, photographer, writer, fiction editor, and chocolate scholar. Throughout the program, students will also be reflecting on the broader contexts of help and care, what it means to work in a community that is not yours, and the responsibilities of having more than many others, both abroad and at home.


CHID 473: Global Service Learning and the Politics of Help in Ghana

Fulfills Requirements: 
CHID Cultural and Historical Engagement
CHID Power & Difference
I&S Credit
Total Program Fees: 

*Note that the fees stated above do not include some additional costs, including, but not limited to: airfare, UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.64/day), and personal spending money. Remember that these costs will differ by program. Be sure to read our Fees, Financing, and Withdrawal information for details about the fee structure and payment schedule.