It is every single child’s wish to go on an excursion especially when on holidays. Couple of Months ago Schottengymnasium school, Austria did not only give scholarship to 12 former trafficked and child labourers but also gave funds to organise an excursion for all the former child labourers being sponsored by Cheerful Hearts Foundation. The purpose of the excursion is to give them an exposure different from the fishing environment and to be challenged to see education as a big tool for achieving their various dreams.
On the 29th of April, the excursion was a dream come true for all the sponsored kids (former trafficked and child labourers) within the 3 fishing communities Senya, Fetteh and Gomoa Nyanyano.
The Children were taken to 3 main educational places including the National Museum, National Theatre, The University of Ghana and had final stop for fun at the West Hills Mall (the biggest mall in West Africa).
At the National Museum, the children had the opportunity to learn about the olden days and cultural materials that depict the unique cultures across the 10 regions of Ghana. They saw in their first time the woods and clothes worn by their forefathers centuries ago and how these clothes were made. Seeing the warrior dresses with amulets sparked a lot of questions and surprises. It was quite interesting for them to understand how a dress could prevent the gun bullets from killing the great warriors of the past.
The special traditional chairs was indeed wonderful to experience. “Though we see these chairs in the chief palaces in various parts of the country, we never understood their roles and its significance, one of the children said”. Not to talk about the excitement on their faces seeing the various old currencies of Ghana and the famous local old game “Alukoto”.
The visit to the University of Ghana was a mind blowing experience for the children. The diversity of the population, young and old, magnificent buildings, huge libraries, various departments, green environment and an atmosphere of academic excellence was very interesting to the children. Among the various departments visited by the children was also the department of Marine and Fisheries. It was quite surprising to the children to see fisheries being taught at a higher level. This gave an opportunity for the team to explain to them that fishing is not a condemned business, however, the major concern is children being involved in fishing at a tender age exposing them to death by drowning in the Sea and other dangerous encounters as faced by most of them in the past.
After the wonderful tour and learning experience at the University of Ghana (UG), Miss Henrietta Asafo Adjei president of Patriot Ghana UG Chapter used the opportunity to encourage the children to take their studies in school serious and challenged them to see the University as their target in their academic ladder. As a young leader, these students were quite surprised and impressed that she could be in the University and also hold such a position. They felt challenged and promised to take their studies serious followed by a big applause for the president of Patriots Ghana UG.
Finally, all the kids were yearning to see a shopping mall for the first time in their lives and to have a fun time. Arrival at the West Hills Mall was quite a shock to most of them especially seeing such a huge mall compared with the table top businesses they are used to in the fishing villages. Evans from Fetteh was very happy to see the West Hills Mall because his teacher had mentioned Accra Mall severally in their class and none of his class has ever been there. It was a dream come true he said.
Nothing could interest them at the mall than the escalator though a few were scared the first time using it.
The children expressed their sincere appreciation to the Schottengymnasium school Austria for giving them an opportunity for such an eye-opening, educational, and fun trip of their lives.
Blessings to everyone who made this trip a success!
Cheerful Hearts Foundation Team 29th April, 2015