All children have the right to play and to be themselves. For most western children this is normal, but in Ghana it is not. Children are supposed to help on the farms and the education is set up in a way that the children are just listening and copying what the teacher tells them. 
To have an opinion for yourself and to speak about what you think or feel is not usual at all. Thankfully there is our local partner organization called Community Partnership for Youth and Women Development (CPYWD). They realise that emotional development for children is very important and therefore they set up a special program for children coming from the villages in the area of Tamale (North of Ghana). 
They themselves have experienced how difficult it is to grow up and how important it is to have positive coaching and a perspective to discover your talent and strive for your ambitions. In 7 villages once or twice a week after school programs are offered by the staff of CPYWD in cooperation with volunteers from the villages. By playing children learn to be themselves.

After School Program (ASP)
As a project interested and specialized in youth development, we have a partnership with different schools in different communities. We are working together to develop the life of children and youth and to develop Ghana and her environment. To undertake direct action in the field where needed, we decided to meet the youth in their own environment and organize After Schools Programs with the help of local leaders (facilitators). During these after school programs we combine learning and having fun, this enables the youth to use and build their capacities. At the moment the After School Program is taking place at 6 communities.

Goal
We want participants to develop themselves and have fun.

Approach
While some knowledge can be gained by listening to a teacher, to experiencing is necessary to fully understand and work with this knowledge. A pleasant way to gain experience and practice is playing. Therefore the After School Program has a learning-through-play approach. Therefore it is essential for the participants to get an active role so they get the full benefit of the program. However the facilitator plays a key role in guiding and creating an environment for growth. Here participants can develop and learn to be creative, take initiatives and improve their behavior by reflection on themselves and each other. In other words: you create an environment for development by playing an encouraging.

PAC-man
Three important components are essential for stimulating an environment for growth:
Positivism, Activity and Creativity.
When approached in this manner, participants will develop themselves. A positive approach will reward the efforts of participants, so they will have enough self-identity to play an active role. Through an active role during the activities, a participant can explore and practice newborn skills and gain experience. An active role also promotes creativity.
When the facilitator observes undesired behavior he/she needs to explain to the participant why this behavior is not appropriate, so he/she can learn from it by linking behavior and consequences (causality). After giving this explanation, you can provide positive alternatives for the behavior. In this way certain behavior can be a choice.

Method (how will we do this)
The above-mentioned approach will be practiced through weekly participant-activating activities combining fun and education through games, acting, dancing, singing, sporting and discussing. Often, participants will cooperate in subgroups to achieve an assignment and later perform for each other. Every meeting ends with an evaluation, where group members are questioned about the process and the result of the meeting.

Facilitators training
At the moment foreign volunteers are helping the CPYWD staff to train Ghanaian volunteers to lead/facilitate the After School Program. The future-facilitators are learning about our approach and practice their leader skills. During the meetings they experience the activities and the role as a facilitator. All volunteers are very enthusiastic and are doing well, so in the future CPWYD has more capacity and will be self-contained.

For more information you are most welcome to contact us.

Because if we join hands, we develop!