Ghana Project, 2011-2012
Debbie Dalke, Faculty, Psychology - The primary purpose of this project is to develop a solar cooker initiative. Solar cookers may sound like high technology, but solar cooking can be done with a simple and inexpensive foil-lined reflector board. Basic cook kits can be purchased for around $50. Low-technology solar cookers are being used in developing countries throughout the world to reduce the use of wood fuel.
MCMASTER ASSOCIATE FELLOWS
Sarabeth Brown, Staff, Education - The Associate Fellow will provide logistical support for all members of the Ghana Learning Community.
Mercedes Clay, Staff, Director of Intercultural Relations - The Associate Fellow will investigate opportunities to work with local organizations and the Ministry of Youth and Sports on the specific initiatives published in the National Youth Policy in Ghana. This has the potential to add more service opportunities for students in areas such as Sport Management, Criminal Justice, and Social Work. An additional project would include working with the elderly by providing eyeglasses for the Shepard Center for the Aging in Peki, Ghana. The Associate Fellow would like to work with local optometrists and fraternal organization to conduct an eyeglass drive to provide the elderly with corrective lenses for no cost. This project would include organizing eyeglass recycling centers, working on a system to code the lenses based on prescriptions and working with local optometrists on a way to ensure the individuals get the correct prescription. This could be a sustainable project for future Scholars.
Phoenix Golnick, Junior, Restoration Ecology - A current problem in Africa is deforestation and the use of shift cultivation (slash and burn) to grow the crops that the farming communities depend on. Sustainable agriculture is a practice that is being looked at a solution to these issues. Before implementing specific organic farming methods, preliminary research must be done looking at soil type and health to determine what the best options are. While in Ghana, the scholar will be working with Francis Amenu at the EP Church and Bremen Village. The scholar plans to do a Survey of Agricultural Practices, along with soil nutrient and texture analyses to get this baseline information. Once the surveys and the soil analyses are completed, community partners will be informed of the findings and hopefully help point the farmers in the right direction as to what method is best for their farm.
Jerika Hennes, Senior, Forensic Science - In the Volta region of Ghana, current water purification methods are viewed as tedious and aggravating because it changes the taste of the water. Additionally, at this point in time, no water quality tests have been done in this area so it is unsure what is currently contaminating the drinking water in this area. In order to counter this issue, the scholar will be doing a water quality analysis on water sources and water samples of purified by the current filtration methods used in Ghana that would analyze levels of ammonia, chlorine, pH, nitrate, dissolved oxygen, and phosphorus. These results will be given to the community partners in Ghana. Furthermore, the scholar will offer a potential alternative water filter that is made of ceramic and give the community instructional posters on water sanitation. While on the ground, the scholar will be working with Dr. Richmond Mfodwo and the Ho Polytechnic Institute.
Samantha Stevens, Junior, Graphic Design - This project will help address the problem of unhealthy drinking water and finding better ways of purifying it. The scholar plans to create educational materials about water purification and provide the supplies that are needed. The materials will be handed out to the villagers in the villages surrounding Ho. Throughout the project, the scholar will be working closely with Dr. Mfodwo and Amenu.
Ellen Stryffeler, Senior, Wellness and Corporate Fitness - This project will introduce a fitness plan to the Shepherd's Center for the Aging. The wellness plan will help the elders to maintain and improve their fitness level, which in turn will improve their all-around health and vitality. To make this project a success the scholar will be working alongside Seth Agidi, founder and national coordinator of the Shepherd's Center of the Aging, Ghana. The scholar expects to gain a better understanding of what is needed at the Shepherd's Center so a future scholar could improve upon the initial project.
Asia Williams, Senior, Communications/Public Relations - This project will involve writing a report that will fulfill some of Ghana’s needs. First, the scholar will gather information about the connection between the UCC and EPC in Ghana. Next, church leaders and villagers will be interviewed on their current needs. The scholar will record personal stories of villagers that will make the members of UCC more willing to donate money, to conduct fundraisers, and to volunteer in other ways that will fulfill Ghana's needs. Then, the scholar will inform UCC of Ghana's current needs and volunteer opportunities that should be met. Finally, the scholar will complete a report and send it to Ghana which will provide them with helpful materials to fulfill their needs.