RTA in Ghana

Attention all RTA students:

Interested in joining us for the experience of a lifetime in Ghana, Africa in February 2013?

Professor Lori Beckstead invites you to travel to Ghana to work with a local charitable organization, DIVOG (Disaster Volunteers of Ghana – www.divog.org) on a community building project. DIVOG would like to set up a community radio station to allow local people to share news and information that is relevant to their lives. This is an opportunity for you to spend one to two weeks in Ghana, interacting with the locals, learning about a new culture, working on community development (e.g. assisting on a school-building project), and generally having the most amazing experience ever! And you will get a course credit for BDC 960 – Selected Topics in International Media. As some of you may know, I spent two weeks in Ghana with DIVOG in 2011 and I can vouch that it was truly the most memorable experience I’ve ever had.

School children in GhanaDates: the two weeks of Feb 18th (reading week) and Feb. 25th, 2013. You can come for one week or both, depending on whether you think you can miss one week of school. If you come for the full two weeks (recommended), you will have to coordinate with your professors about missing one week of classes, and ensure you can still complete all of your assignments.

Requirements & Expectations:

  1. Places are limited and interested students will be screened for suitability.

In order to get the course credit, you will need to do some combination of the following (not yet written in stone and subject to change):

  • Fundraising
  • Research report and/or proposal regarding community radio in Ghana
  • Come on the trip and assist with building and/or setting up the radio station

You’ll be expected to help out with some fundraising for DIVOG…we will likely be raising money to build a school or similar community development project. DIVOG is also interested in setting up a community radio station. Plans are in the works for a live-event fundraiser at Lula lounge in January, and we have other fundraising initiatives in place you can help with.
You’ll also be expected to bring a suitcase or two full of items to donate (clothes, medicine, solar lights/flashlights, toys/games, books/educational materials, etc.). I will send you a list of needed items and you can start asking your friends and neighbours to go through their things and give you things to bring. Don’t worry, you won’t have to buy anything to donate…I’ve found that friends and family can fill up a suitcase in no time if you ask!

Here are some of the costs involved:

  • DIVOG’s cost to look after each of us for two weeks, including accommodation, meals, transportation, site-seeing, and project planning: $750 U.S.*
  • You are responsible for your flight to and from Accra, as well as airport transfers. (It’s possible for us to arrange shared airport transfers if there are a number of us on the same flight.)
  • You are responsible for ensuring you have travel medical insurance, you will need pre-travel immunizations, malaria pills, etc. Contact a travel medicine clinic to find out what you’ll need and what it costs. Some of this may be covered through your parents’ medical insurance and/or your Ryerson student insurance.
  • You’ll need an up-to-date passport as well as a Visa for traveling to Ghana.

*I will require a deposit of $400 US to confirm your place by Nov. 15th, 2012. Note that accommodation is basic. Most of the time there is access to flush toilets and running water, but bathing may be limited to ‘bucket baths’ with cold water and outhouse toilets are common. Beds are similar to camp bunks. Food is fantastic! Local women are hired to cook 3 meals a day for us. There is unlimited access to clean bagged or bottled water for drinking.

Professor Lori Beckstead in Ghana, 2011

Interested?? Here’s what you have to do:

Email me: lbeckste at ryerson dot ca with the following info:

  • your name
  • year in RTA (1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th)
  • Your current GPA (if you’re in first year, tell me what your high school average was last year or your grades from the last time you were in school)
  • Outline your previous traveling experience (if any)
  • Explain to me why you think you’d be a good candidate to go on this trip. Be specific. Convince me that you’d be a great choice!

Not sure yet whether you’re interested? Just email me to let me know you’re thinking about it and I’ll set up a meeting to discuss more details.

Looking forward to hearing from you! Email me with any questions you have!

Lori Beckstead
Associate Professor
RTA School of Media