16 Jun It Takes a Village: West Africa Grassroots Education Learns About Village Life
Written by Will Clarke, 2014 West Africa: Grassroots Education.
Last week, our West Africa Grassroots Education crew left the bustling city of Accra and headed for the serene villages of Togo, but not before a quick stop in the country’s coastal capital, Lome. After arriving in Lome and crossing the border on foot, we settled in and explored the city. On day two, the crew was sent on a scavenger hunt through the city to find our fearless leaders. We we able to learn more about Lome and Togo in general while exploring the Grande Marche and Le Marche aux Fetishes, where we learned about traditionalist religions.
After our brief stay in Lome we headed for Kpalime, where we learned more about Togo’s eduction system and what is being done to promote quality education for all. Our stay in Kpalime was short but sweet, as the next day we strapped on our packs and began a four day hike through the mountains from Kpalime to Wli, a small village in Ghana. Our first stop was Kuma Adame, a village in the mountains of Togo. In Adame we explored ancient sacred caves and learned about the village and its history. We were also able to hike to the top of the nearest mountain and observe all of the surrounding villages, an experience that left everyone speechless.
Having the opportunity to spend time in some smaller villages really gave our crew a chance to see a different side of West Africa. After spending time in busy Accra, it was incredible to see how other people live. The sense of community in the smaller villages is something you need to see to believe. Everyone has a role and knows what they need to do to move the community forward. At the same time, the sense of trust among community members is palpable and there is an instant sense of being part of a community, from the newest arrival to the oldest resident.
Hearing about education from those who live in small communities versus those in the cities gave us an appreciation of the real issues the education system is facing, but also what is being done to counteract them and how important education is to people all over Ghana and Togo. It reinforced why we are here and made us appreciate the work we’re doing. We also got the chance to bond as a team and support each other through literal highs and lows; from the tops of mountains to the bottoms of valleys.
2014 West Africa Grassroots Education