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  5. International Youth Exchanges: An Opportunity for Youth in Ghana?

Expert paper

International Youth Exchanges: An Opportunity for Youth in Ghana?

18.09.20

Global encounters in cultural education offer young people the chance to exchange knowledge and become artistically active together - and they can inspire them to follow their dreams and ideas further.

by Johnson Kefome

Johnson Kefome is Programme Director at Theatre for Social Change (TfSC), Ghana. TfSC has been the Ghanaian partner of the Federal Association of Drama and Theatre (BAG Spiel und Theater) in Germany for many years.

International Youth Exchange programmes have proven to be an incredible learning curve for young people across the globe for many years. Young people around the world especially the global south are exposed to different cultures and inspired by the opportunities and the resources other young people in the global north have at their disposal. With a different approach to learning, exchange programmes employ many playful methods that allow young people to share their views on topical global issues, learn from each other in a fun environment and take action.

This article explores my experience and reflection as social impact worker in the context of global youth encounter, learning and cultural education. As a social impact worker my mission is to promote human and community well-being through the facilitation of empowerment of social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limits human rights, the elimination of poverty, protection of the environment and enhancement of the quality of life for all persons regardless of their race, sex, age, sexual orientation.

Young people all over the world have dreams and aspirations

In my experience of working with young in Ghana, I noticed that they have aspirations and dreams to make their lives better and contribute to the developmental needs of their communities; however, many of the youth do not have the opportunity to really explore their dreams and potential in an environment that is very supportive and safe for them. As a result of this they are force to enter into all kinds of unhealthy social lifestyles that impedes their development. Young people are confronted with issues such as unplanned pregnancy, gender based violence, drug and substance abuse amongst others in their communities. In order to address this issues government in partnership with civil society have designed programmes that provides them  knowledge, skills, services and enabling environment through formal and non-formal education to curb the incidence of these issues.

My experience in global youth encounters has taught me that, young people all over the world have aspiration and dreams and with supportive environment and the needed resources they will continue to fulfill  their dreams and contribute to the development of their society and the world. I have noticed that when you develop a good relationship with young people, you know how to approach them and motivate and support them to build their confidence through various games and task. This is because growing up and learning to become a social impact worker I had a good relationship with my leaders, they were like a life coaches who motivated and pushed me to achieve most of my work assignments. Again they taught me to accept the different cultures and self-control.

Respect and reliability

As a social impact worker I developed personal values of treating people with respect and reliability and as result of this most of the young people that I have worked with and working with also treat me with respect and they are reliable. Engaging young people in global encounters and cultural education has the potential to help them understand they world they live in with regards to different systems and cultures. Once they appreciate and respect the diversities it will go a long way to ensure a peaceful, tolerant and sustainable world that speaks language of possibilities.

We share the world with other people

Exchange programmes provide opportunity for young people to be creative, share knowledge, play – (theatre), innovate, take responsibility and appreciate the fact that the world is a common place. Exchange programmes further promote peace and interculturalism amongst the young generation.

International Youth exchange programmes is an integral part of global development and must be supported by everyone.

Johnson Kefome, Theatre for Social Change, Ghana

While these programmes are very vital in lives of young people in global south and north, there are some fundamental challenges such as funding within Ghana to support young people and also people with visa application process due to the strict immigration laws by the global north.

Zitiervorschlag

BKJ: International Youth Exchanges: An Opportunity for Youth in Ghana?
https://www.bkj.de/en/international/knowledge-base/article/international-youth-exchanges-an-opportunity-for-youth-in-ghana/
Remscheid und Berlin, .

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