The link to the story of the trip on the college website!!
Thought this would be of interest to anybody thinking of going to Ghana!! :-)))))
Nine celebrities trace their family trees to explore the lives of their ancestors and uncover major themes in British social history.
Holby City actor Hugh Quarshie was born in Accra, Ghana, but moved to Britain with his parents as a small child. Hugh knows there is Dutch ancestry in his family, a reflection of centuries of Dutch influence on Ghana’s Gold Coast, but doesn’t know where that bloodline began.
Hugh starts by travelling to Ghana to find out more about this mixed heritage. He visits his Uncle Jimmy in Accra. Jimmy is the son of Hugh’s grandfather, William Reginald Phillips. He tells Hugh that his grandfather was a successful businessman, setting up a trading company. So where did he get the money to do this? Jimmy reveals that William’s mother was Anna Kamerling, who was half-Dutch and lived in a town called Elmina.
Hugh travels to Elmina to find the Kamerling House. He discovers a new relative, his Aunt Gertrude, who tells Hugh that his grandfather’s half brother became the chief of Abee. Hugh remembers that his mother used to call herself the Duchess of Abee. What did she mean? Hugh travels to Abee and meets the new chief, who tells him an interesting tale which could solve the mystery.
Hugh decides to travel to the Netherlands to find out if he can go any further with the Dutch side of his family. Here he encounters a whole line of the family tree he never knew he had. He uncovers a love story across time and race that is a microcosm of 19th century coastal life on the Gold Coast.
An interesting article concerning Volunteering Abroad!
We, Kate and Becky, decided that, this year, instead of going lazing on a beach for two weeks in summer, we would make ourselves useful and volunteer. We didn’t really know where we fancied, we just knew we wanted to work with children and hopefully make a teeny bit of a difference to their lives, even if it was just for the day.
After much deliberation Ghana was the destination we plumped for. Not really sure why to be honest. A bit to do with the price, a bit to do with the idea of ‘volunteering with kids in Africa’, a bit to do with the great reviews it had on the website.
Turns out we made a great decision. We got the chance to work with some brilliant children who were so cute that it was a struggle not to smuggle one home in our backpacks. Despite being so poor they were all so happy and seemingly carefree which was heart-warming, if not a little humbling. Attending the school every day and making a little difference to the children was what made the trip worthwhile. Just giving a little of our time made them very happy and enabled them access to equipment (balls, bats, pencils etc) which are just not available in Ghana.The schools were basic to say the least and we were really grateful for the opportunity to join in with the WNC painting project, to make a lasting, physical difference. We also got to visit some fabulous places such as Cape Coast, Lake Volta (biggest man-made lake in the world) and Kokrobite (Rasta beachy place); as well as meeting some great people along the way.
The Ghanaian way of life is so chilled and community orientated it made you stop and think about how rushed everyone always seems in England. How people really need to slow down and take the time to enjoy the experiences that they are having and the people that they are having these experiences with. We feel like we made some difference to the children we worked with over the course of the two weeks, even if it was just for that genuine moment of amazement when Becky made a chain of paper men, those children will always have a spattering of memories of those silly mbranies (white people) who made things with paper.
The trip definitely made a difference to us, opening our eyes to how vibrant and energetic Ghana is and how happy people can be with nothing. We would recommend it to anyone and will definitely be looking into volunteering elsewhere in the world!!!
By Kate Jones and Becky Machin