The Kingdom Cares Community School is located in Asikuma, Ghana. The KCC School recently opened in January of 2015 and has over 200 students. Two recent Drake University graduates are moving to the village to help locals get the school up and running. They will also be working to develop a functional curriculum for the students and teachers.
Despite the fact that it is still 90 degrees and humid here
everyday, Christmas is coming to Asikuma! The energy level in the house
continues to rise, believe it or not this is possible, and the preparations
Since the weather won’t make it feel like Christmas, we
decided we needed to put some decorations up around the house to get in the
Christmas spirit. Anna and I held true to our no Christmas decorations before
Thanksgiving rule (even though Thanksgiving is not celebrated here) and waited
until this weekend to begin crafting with the kiddos. Each kid got the
opportunity to decorate their very own stocking that we will be hanging in the
hall. We also are in the process of making snowflakes (this also includes an
educational lesson on what snow is – the pictures Anna and I both received from
the first snowfall at home definitely helped with this J). Merry Christmas banners are
being made and decorations for each room’s door are a work in progress.
Apart from the decorations, all the kids have been put into
one of four groups. The groups can earn daily points for going to school on
time, going to siesta, getting their homework done, and going to bed without
putting up a fight. They can also earn points for going above and beyond,
helping someone not in their group, doing an extra job around the house, etc.
Along with earning points, they can also lose points for not listening, not
being kind to one another, etc. The goal behind the groups is to have the big
ones looking out for the little ones and to embrace the Christmas spirit by
giving to others and working as a team. We are two weeks in and have noticed
some differences in some of the kids. There seem to be fewer tears in the
morning because the big ones are helping keep track of school uniforms and
there is less complaining at bedtime. This means no complaining from Anna and
The groups also get the opportunity to compete as a group.
We have had two household spelling bees where extra points can be earned. The
groups have done a great job working to learn words that we have posted
throughout the house and working together. It is so exciting to see them
encouraging each other and supporting each other. The staff here has a few
other challenges and activities up their sleeves leading up to the big day. Each
group will be responsible for cooking one meal together and the concluding
event will be to see which group can build the highest tower using a variety of
supplies. Each group will receive an award at the end and the winning group
will receive a bonus Christmas present.
The staff at the center is also putting together some
Christmas performances. The kids are being asked to memorize bible verses,
prepare a Christmas song, and the center is preparing to do a nativity play. We
are very bummed to be missing all of this and have already requested a
reenactment when we return in January.
Although the focus of Christmas will remain on Jesus’ birth
in this house, the kids will be blessed with a few gifts. Some of these gifts
will be purchased by the staff at the center using their own and donated funds,
some will be donated by former volunteers, and Anna and I will also be bringing
gifts back when we return in January for a little belated Christmas. We are
hoping to bring back small individual gifts, but also practical gifts for the
house as a whole. If you are interested in making a donation (new or gently
used) please see the list below. We will be in the states from December 10th
– January 5th and would be more than happy to connect with you (firstname.lastname@example.org) and collect any
of the items or you can make a donation using the link https://acts2collective.cloverdonations.com/donation/ and we will
do the shopping.Thank you for helping
to make the holidays possible for these 31 amazing kids.
Sarah is a very special little girl. I first had the pleasure
of meeting Sarah when I visited Ghana in August of 2014. The group I was with
visited an orphanage in Kwahu where she was staying at the time. We were only
visiting for a short time, but I very clearly remember Sarah dancing, laughing,
and playing with anyone who she came in contact with. One of the most vivid
memories I have of Sarah involves a pair of sunglasses and a camera. Sarah put
on one of the KCI girls sunglasses and insisted on having her picture taken.
After we had all taken her picture she walked around to look at each person’s
photos of her. She smiled and laughed the whole time. Sarah, like most kids in
Ghana, loves to see what they look like in photos.*
Flash forward to November of 2015: Auntie (Comfort) brought
Sarah home to the Kingdom Cares Mission Center. Some of the children currently
living at the mission center came from the Kwahu orphanage so when Sarah
arrived some smiling familiar faces and some new ones were waiting to greet
her! Sarah quickly began playing with a group of boys and little Esther who
were playing over by the ramp outside of the office door. The way she was
talking with the other kids and laughing made it seem like she had been here
since the beginning. I am very impressed by her willingness and enthusiasm to
interact with others!
From what I observed so far Sarah is stubborn. It’s her way
or the highway as they say. This being said she stands up for what she wants.
She is not afraid to argue with the other kids for the best spot on the couch
or why she deserves to be the first to person to get dinner that night. When
Sarah isn’t arguing for herself she is usually arguing for one of the little
ones in the house. She has quickly fallen in love with our littlest house
member Madjowa. Whenever Sarah sees Madjowa in a room or on the porch she walks
right up to her and places a kiss on her check! Sarah is also waiting to greet
us with a big hug anytime was walk back from school to the house. I don’t know
what is bigger: her heart or her smile!
Sarah loves playing with other kids. I think that she will
make a fine addition to our house dance parties. I am hoping to learn a couple
of new dance moves from her, although I do not think I can master the moves
with the same amount of spunk. Sarah does not like to be stationary for long
periods of time. She is always walking around like she is on a mission. I have
yet to see Sarah sit down long enough to eat an entire meal. She also does not
like to be confined to her room during siesta or bedtime, but we are working on
it! Sarah loves to be the life of the party, spread laughter, and dance into
We will keep you updated on how Sarah, the other
children, and the KCC school are doing. We are always more than willing to
answer questions or give more information. If you feel compelled to make a
donation or support the school in some other capacity please either email us email@example.com or visit https://acts2collective.cloverdonations.com/donation/
Peace and Blessings,
| Anna |
*It is not uncommon for someone to not know what he or she
looks like. Mirrors are not very common in Ghana and cameras are a luxury. People
are often brought to tears or laughter by the sight of their own face.
Well, we have officially been in Asikuma for three months.
Our initial plan for being here was to write a curriculum for the Kingdom Cares
Community School. However the more people we talked to and the more we learned we
quickly discovered that there are in fact guidelines the school has to follow.
As we have mentioned several times we knew that while being here we were going
to have to change and adapt our plan several times, so we did just that.
We are currently in the process of writing a set of standards
for the teachers to use to guide their teaching. Since many of the teachers
here lack formal training they teach solely from the textbooks (the opposite of
how we were taught to teach J).
Therefore, Anna and I have been trying to support them so they feel more
comfortable teaching the material without reading it directly to their class
from the text. Therefore, we decided to write them a set of standards for each
subject. The standards all begin with “students will be able to…” and identify
the main ideas or skills students should take away from each section or unit of
the textbook. Our goal in providing these to the teachers is that they will be
able to assess their teaching at the end of the lesson. They’ll be able to ask
themselves are all my students able to
add one-digit number? If the answer is yes, then they can move on to teach
the next skill. If the answer is no, then they will be able to reteach the
skill to a small group or the whole class or teach it in a different way.
The standards are written based on the syllabus outlining
what the students need to learn for each particular subject. This syllabus is
provided to us by the GES (Ghanaian Education System). The series of textbooks
our school has purchased/is in the process of purchasing align with the GES
standards so we are using these to guide our standards writing. Additionally,
we are using the Basic Education Certificate Examination. This test is what
students have to pass to continue their education in Ghana. Therefore by using
this as a guide we are hoping to ensure that we do not miss any crucial skills
they will need to eventually pass the test.
We are in the process of finishing up our math standards for
the last class. Following the completion of this, we will move on to English using
the textbooks we were just able to purchase thanks to several generous
donations. Our goal is to hold a seminar for the teachers on how to effectively
use the standards to impact their teacher and from them to be able to continue
using the standards long after we are gone.
None of this would be possible without the education and
experiences we received from Drake University. We continue to be thankful and
appreciative of all the love and support we receive from family and friends,
but especially want to thank our classmates and professors from Drake who
provided us with the opportunities and training these teachers never received.
Please continue to follow our journey and support us in any
way you can. We have just purchased 10 English textbooks for each class, but are
still working to purchase math and science books for the students to use. Thank
On Week 11 we have started a pen pal program with Siouxland
Christian School! Instead of doing individual letters between students we are
doing letters between classes. We will have all of our classes from KG2 through
P6 exchange letters and pictures. This will help the students work on their
vocabulary, questioning, formal letter writing, and it will help the students
learn about another culture!
This week Mary and I co-taught our first lesson on writing
in the KG2, kindergarten, classroom with their teacher Ms. Eunice Atinga. We
started off the lesson by reading the students the letter from Mrs. Thomas’s
kindergarten class. The letter include a class description, the teachers name,
what the students were currently studying, and a list of questions they had for
out students in Ghana. They also sent a picture from their class pajama day!
Our students were so giggly as they were looking at a picture “from America”.
They loved to see the students in their classroom.
Once we had read and answered Mrs. Thomas’s class’s
questions about what the weather was like in Ghana, what kinds of animals we
lived with, and what kinds of clothes we wear we brainstormed a list of things
we wanted to know about America and their classroom. Our students wanted to
know if students in the US wear uniforms to school because in our school we
wear uniforms. We were also curious about what they like to eat and if they
have FuFu for lunch. We also wanted to know what kinds of animals they have
We also included information about how we are working with
numbers and counting in mathematics, we are working on writing, spelling and
letter sounds in reading, and RME (Religious and Moral Education).At Siouxland Christian School they talk
about Jesus and at our school we worship on Wednesday mornings. This is where
all of the students come together to sing, clap, pray, and praise Jesus. The students
noticed that both schools talked about Jesus, and this made them chuckle. Every
time they noticed something was the same in Ghana and the US they broke out in
Finally we took a class picture to send with our pen pal
letter! We are looking forward to
hearing from our kindergarten friends and starting the pen pal process for the
Please continue to follow us on this journey and
share what we are doing. We are always more than willing to answer questions or
give more information. If you feel compelled to make a donation or support the
school in some other capacity please either email us firstname.lastname@example.org or use the link on the right side of