Team Ghana Trip 2018

The Team Ghana trip this year took place during the February break. After a long process, twenty-six lucky students were selected to go. However, getting to Ghana was quite a struggle, as the flight was canceled on the first day, and on the second day, there was a mix-up, causing nine students and two chaperones to stay back and take a flight the next day. Once we were all in Ghana, the real fun started, although it came along with a lot of laborious work. The main projects this year were to paint the basketball court, paint the walls surrounding the school, organize the library, and plant trees around the outside wall of the school. Due to the warm weather and striking sun, working was very tiring and pushed the whole team to our limits. By the end of the trip, we managed to finish all our projects. Alongside those projects, we had the chance to play with the BIS students and experience the wonderful Ghanaian culture, while also getting to know our peers better outside the classroom. 

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Team Ghana Trip to BIS in 2015

The 2015 trip to Ghana was a complete success, with ZIS students helping with the new garden and the implementation of the new basketball hoops. Students also helped decorate the school by painting the cabinets, tables, and chairs. Jay Haken, and Dan and Shea Allen supervised the trip and said they planned to return in the upcoming year. The trip was a real blast and a great opportunity for kids from both of the schools and we look forward to next year’s trip.

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Returning to BCS

Many ZIS students decide to travel back to Ghana after their first trip to BCS. Ghana returnees Ben Lindgren, Anja Doolan, Sandra de Giorgi, Ania Milligan and Aline Aronsky were interviewed about their experience:

Taken by Clemence Manzone

Ania – My first trip to Ghana was a culture shock: my first time in Africa, my first exposure to poverty, and my first opportunity to fall in love with the raw generosity and kindness of the BCS students.

Anja – Going back to the school was incredible. The moment we drove up to the school and saw the walls around it and the new buildings, I immediately knew that things had changed for the better.

Sandra – The school is doing amazingly well on its own and our service isn’t so much a necessity as it is a joy for both BCS and ZIS. In my trip we still taught all day; now our kids only teach for half the day. This in itself shows how self-sufficient the school and how capable the teachers are becoming.

Ania – I am grateful that my initial trip to Ghana encompassed the culture and history of the country, offering cultural context to enrich the primary focus of the trip that was working at BCS. It is for this reason that I believe my second expedition with a CWW group was so successful. Consisting almost exclusively of being at BCS, my second trip left me with magnitude of attachment towards the students and staff and school exceeding that of my previous visit as a result of my increased knowledge of their situation.

Sandra – It really taught me a lesson in the differences we can make, no matter how small.

Ben – I feel as if I helped BCS in a far greater way than I had during my Team Ghana trip, as if I am a part of the history of BCS and have helped the students get more out of their education and future prospects.

Sandra – In that first year I was imbedded with a love for Ghana and BCS that only grew stronger when I visited again. A return visit provides a new experience, one where you are no longer a newbie, and know your way around. It provided an experience for me in which I felt even more welcomed and loved by the community and truly felt part of the school.

Emma – Returning gave me the opportunity to know what to expect, know what needed to be done, and to enjoy myself to the fullest. I hope everyone has the opportunity to return and feel the same way I did because that feeling is hard to come by.

Aline – After my second time to Ghana I knew for certain that I wanted to pursue something which would let me experience different cultures in such a personal way, which is why I chose to spend a gap year after I graduate travelling the world and volunteering in different cultures. I’ve also decided to study Anthropology afterwards, so I could continue learning about our diversity in the way that I learned about it in Ghana.

Ania – Essentially, the emotional significance of my second trip stems directly from the first, and I struggle to find words honest enough to depict just how grateful I am to have ventured to the breathtaking country of Ghana twice.

Team Ghana

Team Ghana is the name given to the annual grade 9 service trips. A highly selective process begins in grade 7 and carries through into grade 9. During this process, students must show their ability to work with young children, their commitment to cultural understanding, and their ability to work as a cohesive team. The group teaches the students at BCS, helps building and developing the campus, and experiences a life-changing trip in Ghana. Approximately 20 students are chosen each year to work at BCS for 4 days and to visit a few of Ghana’s historical and cultural sights during the remainder of the week. This year (2014), two groups of 20 grade 9 students have been selected for a service trip in February and a second service trip in April.

To read more about Team Ghana from a student’s perspective, please click on the images below.

Sandra's experience      Ania's Experience      Me Candid

Independent Projects

After travelling to BCS during the Team Ghana- or CWW Trip, many students remain dedicated to the partnership ZIS has established with our BCS sister school. Alumni students, parents, and teachers can contribute to BCS by starting their own project to improve the teaching facilities, health and safety, campus buildings, or other aspects of the school. Some work on an independent project at ZIS, while others travel back to Ghana to visit the school again for their project.

Click on the following images below to read more about each independent project for BCS:   

                                                                                 Kate, Chloe, Anja & Claire's Independent

Taken by Clémence Manzone    Liza's Independent Project     Aline's Independent Project

Ben Lindgren's Project   GoGhana10 Trip   Theodor's Independent Project

Classroom Without Walls (CWW)

CWW Trips are Upper School trips at the end of the school year designed to teach students “outside the classroom walls”. Each trip focuses on the ZIS Mission pillars: Learn, Care, Challenge, and Lead. The cultural excursion to Ghana is an excellent opportunity for ZIS students to learn about the Ghanaian culture while volunteering at BCS. Students will teach at BCS, help build facilities for the campus, and work within the local community. This year’s (2014) CWW trip will be the third CWW going to Ghana.

Click on the image to read more about the CWW trip from a student’s perspective:

Article by Antonia Mcgrath