Accountancy - BA (Hons)
Luke travelled to Ghana, visiting a rural school to help with teaching and building.
"The scholarship gave me the opportunity to get involved in situations that I would never be exposed to in England. On arrival in Ghana I was taken aback by the standard of the roads and villages outside of the capital. Accra has a modern edge to it, but all the surrounding villages for as far as I travelled seemed to be struggling for resources to make any kind of safe structures.
"When I finally reached the house where I would spend the next three weeks, I was pleasantly surprised. The houses I had seen were mainly shacks made from mud and wood, but the house I would be staying at was made of bricks. We pulled into the drive to see 25 other British volunteers sitting and relaxing outside the house. Apparently, the arrival of a new volunteer is quite exciting when you have been in the house for a number of weeks, so I felt welcome!"
Making a difference
"The following morning I began my work building. I was anxious about how I would get on with no building experience. I was part of a team that were building a toilet block at a school, and when I arrived I was shown the process that was required to make the bricks. There is no option to buy pre-made bricks like in the UK, so the process is very long and involves a lot of hard work. The bricks for the building were handmade, and the teachers at the school would send the children before school starts two miles with buckets to collect sand.
"To see children no older than 10 years of age carrying a large amount of sand on their heads for two miles and to hear no complaints baffled me - all I could think at the time was when I was that age I probably would not have made it back alive."
"At break times the children from the school come over and chat with you. The children had such big characters for people so young. The rest of the week I helped with the construction of the toilet block and also built up relationships with children. I always knew I wanted to challenge myself and do two weeks teaching, so when I had time I went to the classes to try and get an understanding of how they are run."
"We worked Monday to Friday, leaving the weekends free for trips away from the house or for any downtime that may be required. My first weekend there was a trip to a Rastafarian community six hours away from our house, and we stayed in tourist accommodation a stones throw away from the beach. The weekend consisted of relaxing on the beach and getting to know the locals. Evenings were spent socialising and watching various performances from local Ghanaian acts: singers, dancers, magicians and gymnasts."
The next two weeks I spent teaching at a school called Chin-Soon Sun. These two weeks were filled with a number of amazing experiences. I had no previous teaching experience so I was a bit nervous before I started. Thankfully, I had a class of 12 who were extremely eager to learn, which made the job a lot easier.
"Ghana was full of experiences I could only dream of; I came back wishing I could stay for longer. The variety of difference activities I was involved with have helped me grow as a person - my confidence has developed from having to deal with different situations. I can’t put into words how valuable this trip will be on the development of my career and also on the development of me as a person."