ISSN 1710-6931 November 16, 2007 Issue 112
FIRST PERSON

Summer With RESPECT Ghana

My experience with RESPECT Ghana this summer was a true exchange. Before working with RESPECT volunteers in the Buduburam Refugee camp, I volunteered with a resettlement organization in my home town of St. Louis, Missouri, United States, where I acted as a refugee community guide.

Once I arrived in Ghana, however, I depended upon my fellow volunteers to guide me around their community. Over the next two months, it became my community too as I volunteered with RESPECT's SMART Kids program and taught Creative Writing and Peace Education in the Fundamental Baptist School (a RESPECT partner) on the camp. I also helped coordinate the One World Youth Africa Summit, which RESPECT co-sponsored in July.

I learned about RESPECT through a student at my university who had also volunteered with RESPECT while in Ghana. She pointed me in Fred's (Ayifli) direction, and I got in contact via email. In his reply, he sounded excited that I wanted to volunteer, and I was equally excited to have met such an enthusiastic host! RESPECT Ghana


A Refugee Teacher's Letter

The following letter was included in a package of letters RESPECT received from the Buduburam United Methodist School, Buduburam Refugee Camp, Ghana, for the Global Letter Exchange. The letter is from a teacher at the school.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am George A. Steven, 33, accountant, Liberian.

The devastating effects of the war in Liberia forced me to seek refuge here in Ghana in 1990. Life on the Buduburam Refugee Camp was nothing good to write home. Graduating from University of Liberia was not an important issue to the jobless refugee here.

When job was nowhere to be found, life was getting tougher and I had practically lost all hope and my NNA degree about a useless paper. Then I heard about the establishing of the Buduburam United Methodist School, it appear to me like an angel sent to rescue me. I started work with the school as volunteer and was later promoted to the position of an accountant and still teach from 6th to 11th grade. Letter

FEATURE ARTICLES

Community-Based HIV/AIDS Education

Logan Cochrane is well known for his active involvement in the areas of community and youth empowerment and as the founder of Working To Empower (WTE), a partner organization of RESPECT International.

He recently spoke to RESPECT about the core concepts of WTE and its involvement with youth around the world. He also spoke of how WTE is making use of the internet to share knowledge even when most of its partners work in areas with very low internet penetration.

Logan Cochrane founded WTE while he was completing his undergraduate degree in anthropology. At age 21 he was leading HIV educational efforts as a focal educator and project manager in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Tanzania.

A youth-run and youth-focused organization, WTE works with community-based organizations, facilitating the training of youth HIV/AIDS educators, mostly in displaced and refugee communities. Its core belief is that all people are equal, but structural, legal, and economic differences are such that we are given varied opportunity in life.

Young people account for nearly 50% of the global HIV/AIDS infections each year. Education alone is simply not enough. WTE trains youth to become educators in their own community, taking an advocacy role – not only in changing their own behaviours but also within their communities.

Created in 2005, WTE now has on-going projects in five African nations: Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. HIV/AIDS Education

As in any newsletter or magazine, RESPECT e-zine is committed to striving for interesting articles and announcements concerning refugee issues all around the world.

If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute an article, contact the e-Zine editor, Angela Carter, at editor@respectrefugees.org.

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