This year, my senior year of high school, I am graduating on December 20, 2013, which is a semester earlier than everyone else in my class. At the end of January, I'm traveling to Ghana, Africa, where I will spend three months teaching children subjects like math and English. I'm working with an organization called International Volunteer HQ.
I chose a teaching placement rather than a medical placement since I don't have the medical experience yet to offer. Although Ghana is an English speaking country, many school children cannot communicate effectively in the English language. This is a common phenomenon in both rural and urban areas of Ghana, hence the need to recruit and place volunteers in communities where there are simply insufficient teachers (or teachers who have inadequate English) to cater for the number of children. The IVHQ Teaching project seeks to stimulate the interest in school children to study and speak proper English while at the same time offering our foreign volunteers a unique opportunity to learn and experience the Ghanaian culture.Music, math and arts are also incorporated into our program, as is the opportunity to teach French, which I have studied for 5 years.
If you would like to see the official website for my specific program, click here. I will go through an orientation and training through IVHQ's partner organization, Ghana Volunteer Corps, upon arrival, and then will be placed with a host family near the school where I will be working.
The past two years I have been working extremely hard to make this happen. Last year (junior year), I filled eight out of seven slots for classes, which meant studying and working outside of school. This year, I'm taking four classes at Sir Francis Drake High School, am working in my free periods, and taking two nighttime college classes at my local community college, College of Marin. I am also applying to colleges like the rest of my class, and am planning to enroll as a Freshman in the fall of 2014 as usual.
This volunteer trip means a great deal to me, but it won't be able to happen if I don't raise enough money to cover the flights there and back, vaccines, program costs, and the cost of supplies. For those of you who have given (or will give) me support, I am extremely grateful. I would never be where I am today if it wasn't for you. I plan on keeping a travel blog (apparently volunteers will have internet access, but I'm not 100% sure how reliable or accessible it will be) and it will be open for anyone to view. I highly recommend following me at Tomeworthy, my blog. I have already started posting my progress!
Thank you so much!
Camille Ilana Merz
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