Letters from Ghana (#1)


July 26, 2013

Greetings Students, Alumni and Friends,

A team of faculty, students and alums are currently at JFK waiting for our flight to Accra Ghana. We are partnering with an international nonprofit organization called Edify. Edify provides micro loans to low cost private schools in several developing nations including Ghana, Rwanda, The Dominican Republic, and they are expanding to Peru and Burkina Faso. The SOLES team will conduct two leadership trainings for a total of 80 school proprietors. Dr. Joi Spencer's team will do the four days of training in Tema, just outside Accra, and my team will fly north to Kumasi. For several of us, it's our third trip to this fascinating country which has the oldest democracy on the African continent. Ghana was a British colony and became independent in 1957.

Our team is comprised of: SOLES Associate Professor Joi Spencer, masters and principal credential recent graduates Desiree Wooden and Melodie Miranda (Melodie was just selected to be an assistant principal for Green Dot charter schools in LA!), Raketa Ouedraogo-Thomas, an alum who taught math at St. Michael's school in Poway last year, Corinne Brion a new doctoral student who hails from France and taught French part time at Academy of Our Lady of Peace (OLP) last year, and Maria Kelly, a current doctoral student. Maria is coming from Malawi and then Kenya, where she spent the first half of the summer on a research project for one of our partners-Save the Children. In Kenya she was working with Dr. Heather Lattimer on a research project at Daraja Academy in Nanyuki. Some of you may be familiar with Daraja since USD alum Jason Dougherty founded the school about five years ago. Joining us from Edify is Vanessa Folsom who is a graduate of our Law School '98. By the way, not with us but we are so grateful to him for inviting us to do this work in Ghana, is CEO and Founder of Edify, Chris Crane. Chris is on the School of Business Administration's Advisory Board (and his wife is an alum of our School of Peace Studies!) .

So, Maria, Corinne, Melodie, Desiree, Raketa, Joi and I are 23 hours in transit, arriving in Accra sometime on Saturday afternoon. We will be preparing to teach the five modules
that we created over the last few months. Training for the school proprietors begins at 8 AM on Monday.

Stay tuned for more. I need to tell you all about an animal called a 'grass-cutter'!

Dean Paula A. Cordeiro

Read letter #2 from Ghana.