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Letter from Ghana
By Bobby Crow Feather, UTTC graduate
26 September 2011

      How amazingly awesome this summer is for me!

      I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Abandoned Refugee Children's Home (ARCH) outside of Accra, Ghana. It’s an amazing place, supported through the Niapele Project.

Bobby Crow Feather (Standing Rock/Creek/Yavapai-Apache) graduated in May from the UTTC Tribal Management program. His summer internship in west Africa is through the organization Cross-Cultural Solutions.

      ARCH works to integrate children who are refugees of war into a “normal” childhood. The goal is to teach daily skills and assist them in processing the traumas they’ve experienced in war torn areas of Africa. The camp provides medical care, education and food, but one area that gets overlooked is recreation.

      My role has been to help improve the use of English. As you would expect, most tend to be shy side, and I am lucky to be able to facilitate small group and large group discussions. For some, this is the first time they’ve had the chance to talk about a topic of their own choosing.

      Most of one day we spent talking about the places where they come from, and how they are different and similar to the places “we” come from (we being all the volunteers that have arrived). Even more fun was the day we played soccer, a simple thing that kids really enjoy – and I did too!

      I found unmistakable similarities in Ghana to the places we come from. One odd little twist on a problem that many small reservation communities have with dogs is the problem here with chickens, lizards and GOATS. I never thought I’d see goats wandering in and out of homes and being shooed away. It’s amusing to see the reaction of other volunteers.

      Another thing I’ve witnessed here in Ghana is the outpouring of faith. The evidence is all around: in the names of their businesses; painted on the sides of homes and churches; and songs you hear from miles away. Though they have very little, the people here make the most amazing statements of faith and give testimony that would humble any of us.

      I am lucky enough to have in my rotation an orphanage that serves more than just children. They have an amazing group of people here and I am fortunate to have been hosted by several. Also, I am working on buying a few things for one village that I am spending a lot of time in. They have some really basic needs.

      The good news is that I am well and I have much to tell when I return! Hope your summer is good too!


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