AFS-Ghana works toward a more just and peaceful world by providing international and intercultural learning experiences to individuals, families, schools, and communities through a global volunteer partnership.
AFS (formerly the American Field Service) is a leader in intercultural learning and offers international exchange programs in more than 40 countries around the world through independent, nonprofit AFS Organizations, each with a network of volunteers, a professionally staffed office, and headed up by a volunteer board. AFS has been exchanging students throughout the world for 60 years.
In addition to the high school exchange program, AFS Ghana operates the 18 Plus Program which is a community service program aiming to enable young adults to put global awareness and intercultural learning into practice. The Program offers volunteers who want to have this experience abroad the opportunity to learn a foreign language, have practical intercultural learning experiences and enjoy the support of the AFS International network.
For those who come into the country from all over the world, it strengthens their competence in working with community based organizations. The volunteers are placed in community-based organizations such as orphanages, health institutions and special education institutions including a school for the blind and deaf. Some volunteers work on health projects and rural community water and sanitation projects while others help street children to live a healthier and better life. Other placements are in the areas of human rights advocacy and gender issues.
The program lasts from 3 months to 1 year. It is organized twice each year. AFS Ghana operates this program with partners in Belgium, Denmark, China, Costa Rica, Malaysia, South Africa, Thailand, Philippines, and Germany.
AFS and Yale share many values, not the least of which is selfless service to others. Volunteerism is at the core of AFS, its 45,000 Volunteers worldwide are the moral owners of the non-profit organization. AFS Volunteers deliver its programs and care for participants in local communities worldwide.
AFS and Yale share a noteworthy history as well: When AFS was organized as a volunteer service in Paris in 1914, during World War I, the participation by Yalies was extraordinary - 187 of its 2,000 drivers were from Yale. This has carried forward, AFS’ second president was Arthur How, Jr., a former AFS Driver who is a Yale graduate and Dean of Admissions and Student Appointments at Yale before assuming the role of AFS President; four of the six AFS Life Trustees today are Yalies: Art Howe, Norm Eddy, Rick Hunt and Ed Masback.
As for the importance of alumni engagement, as one is a Yalie for a lifetime so that attending the university is only the beginning of the experience, so, too, one is an AFSer for a lifetime, if we but choose to be; the program experience only the beginning.
The University of Cape Coast (UCC) is one of the rare sea front universities in the world. It was established in October 1962 as a University College and placed in a special relationship with the University of Ghana, Legon.
On October 1, 1971, the College attained the status of a full and independent University, with the authority to confer its own degrees, diplomas and certificates by an Act of Parliament - The University of Cape Coast Act, 1971 and subsequently the University of Cape Coast Law, 1992.
The University was established out of a dire need for highly qualified and skilled manpower in education to provide leadership and enlightenment. Its original mandate was therefore to train graduate professional teachers for Ghana’s second cycle institutions and the Ministry of Education, in order to meet the manpower needs of the country’s accelerated education program at the time. Today, with the expansion of some of its faculties and the diversification of programs, the University has the capacity to meet the manpower needs of other ministries and industries in the country, besides that of the Ministry of Education. UCC has a close relationship with the community of Yamoransa where it does needs assessment work and has students reside for short periods of time during each semester.
The GhanaThink Foundation is a youth-led NGO based in Ghana & the US. Its primary goal is to mobilize and organize talent for the benefit of Ghana. Further put, it is to harness the diverse talents of Ghanaians in Ghana and the diaspora for the benefit of Ghana, and by extension Africa and the world. In effect, it seeks to mobilize and organize talent and resources for the service of Ghana. With the idea generations and discussions that come out of this, it seeks to support these ideas into projects, programs and ventures.
GhanaThink’s landmark initiative now is Barcamp Ghana. These Barcamps provide a platform for youth to network, discuss important issues, and develop new partnerships. With 45 events and counting since December 2008, Barcamp Ghana has been the launchpad for business start-ups (such as Afrochic), Google Developer Groups, Junior Camp Ghana, and new career opportunities. The events have reached over 5700 young leaders. Activities such as speed mentoring, panel discussions, and user-generated breakout sessions all harness the energy, drive, and entrepreneurial spirit of participants to bring about positive action.