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Voices Of Inspired Children Engaging Society (Voices)
 

Program Overview

The VOICES Immersion Program is our Global Engagement and Knowledge exchange strategy. Working in partnership with other members of the VOICES Global Collective, two streams of volunteers are sought and recruited.
VOICES Ignitors: These are young changemakers who are looking to understand and experience first hand the VOICES Empowerment model in action. The purpose to this immersion experience is to gain the necessary understanding and toolkit needed to bring the empowerment model to their own community, wherever it might be. Successful applicants to this program receive a scholarship to cover basic in-country costs ( Accommodation, Food and Transportation) and are required to spend a minimum of two months in-country in the summer months of June-September.
Elite VIP Volunteers: These volunteers are highly skilled individuals who support the VOICES vision and pay a fee to participate in program development and organizational capacity building. They cover all their travel and in-country costs and spend a minimum of 2 weeks contributing their high-impact skills towards improving the organizational processes, developing strategy and implementing or launching new initiatives. Elite VIP Volunteers are lifelong friends of the VOICES Global Collective. Each Year, we host a maximum of three Elite VIP Volunteers, and design an immersion in-country experiences that showcases not only the organization, our partner communities but also the rich diversity of the Country.

 

Some History
The  VOICES Immersion Program was launched in August 2007 with the hosting of the first international intern at the VOICES Ghana office, recruited through the Montreal based NGO, HorizoneCosmopolitaine with financial Support from CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency. To date VOICES Ghana has hosted 5 international interns from a number of world renowned organizations and institutions including Wharton Business School and McGill University. VOICES Canada hosted its first intern, a PhD student from Paris, to help in the  development of its programs.

 

Program Implementation

Program participants once selected, engage in a highly interactive pre-departure process that guides them in understanding the ethos of the organization as well as sensitzes them to the culture and nuances of life in the host country. This process also focusses on matching their skills, talents and interests to a capacity or resource gap in VOICES operations. A memorandum of undertsanding is signed at the end of this process which details the scope, goals and evaluation matrix of the immersion experience. The Immersion Experience also includes support in planning travel through the country and in the region in order to fully round out and enrich the time spent with the organization.

 

 

Program Testimonials

"..During last a few days, I came up with many thoughts. Through visiting school kids in your program, meeting people in communities and observing history in Cape Coast castle, I truly learned a lot on this country and continent. I am very thankful for my opportunity being here and experiencing your country. As we confront different challenges, I realize I am learning more and more how people has lived and still make a life here. Also, it allows me to bring memories of my home country, Korea. In my childhood, I remember some of problem like these existed in my country. Again, I believe education was the most crucial force to raise my country and truly appreciate your passion on children’s education here, in Ghana. Through speaking with children, mentors, teachers and community people, I have been very impressed by your achievement here. I believe you and VOICEs effort is creating and will create huge value for this country and continent. We are proud of working you your organization".--JooYun (Joanne), Hong, Wharton Business School WIVP 2009

"Traveling to Ghana and volunteering for VOICES this summer was an amazing experience.  The young ‘spaceship’ kids of VOICES impressed me so much with their maturity, opinions, and charm.  The realities they face and the tough topics they discuss as a peer group made me realize why a program like VOICES is so essential in Ghana.  I will always remember one visit to the Montessori school, where the VOICES mentors were meeting with each class separately.  Walking by each room, I could see the impact of the program, transforming the kids from giggly primary six class to articulate junior high graduates.  The unbeatable passion of Ahmeda (VOICES Executive Director) for this organization, for health and wellness, and most of all, for facilitating the empowerment of these kids is simply contagious.  Sometimes volunteering can make people question if they’ve made an impact.  For me, it’s evident that Ahmeda and her mentors are changing the lives of this young kids in Ghana, and I am glad I was able to be a part of that transformation.  She is an inspiration for the kids and an inspiration for those who have always wanted to start their own NGO.
This was my first trip to Africa, and Ghana is a place rich in culture and tradition.  From trying fufu to standing in the slave dungeons of Cape Coast Castle, my immersion experience showed me the African way of life and real artifacts of history.  Some of my favorite moments from the trip included: bike riding to visit Larabanga Mosque, walking along the beaches of Sankofa, seeing elephants at Mole, and canoeing out to Nzulezu’s Villages on Stilts.  Africa is a special place unlike anywhere else I have visited, and I thank VOICES and Ahmeda for giving me such a memorable experience".  Sandy Lee, Wharton Business School WIVP Volunteer 2008

“VOICES has afforded me the realization that the most important resource this country possesses is its human capital. And yet this is a resource that is heavily under-valued. Voices’ aims at creating the awareness of the importance of that human capital, and the importance of building our nation from the grassroots” ----- Kabuki Boey-Ocansey, Asheshi University Volunteer 2006

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