Sunday, 3 October 2010

We are back but Beyond Borders starts now

Between September 1st – 22nd 2010, 15 student footballers from the University of London lead by Toib Olomowewe (History & Economics), travelled across Ghana and engaged in grass roots organisation with local NGO’s and community groups, cross-cultural and political dialogue with students, and collected research on local perceptions towards education and development in the Southern regions of Ghana, using football as the medium of exchange.

SOAS Football Beyond Borders is a SOAS student lead project that uses the universal game of football to engage with communities across the world with the objectives to: include the voice of grassroots communities within the academic debate, break down barriers and prejudices, champion education, and create a transnational network of students dedicated to international development.

Paul Agyeman-Duah a Sociology and Political science student at the University of Ghana who was engaged through the tour reiterates its importance by stating, ‘in a global village international and cross cultural dialogue is important, football is a great means for this, football unites people, football truly goes beyond borders’.  

The students travelled across the Central, Eastern, Ashanti, and greater Accra region of Ghana over three weeks playing 7 football fixtures, running voluntary projects, and engaging in debate with students. The tour started in Legon at the University of Ghana before moving to: Kumasi, where the team played Kumasi Polytechnic; Elimina, where they played the University of Cape Coast and worked with the S.A.B.R.E trust that is improving the educational infrastructure in rural communities; before the tour closed in the coastal village of Kokrobite. In Kokrobite the team volunteered with the Kokrobite Chiltern Centre (KCC) that supports primary education in the village. The KCC was co- founded by Jane Zohoungbogbo who commended the project as ‘a great effort’.

Symeon Brown (Economics and Politics), a tour participant stated ‘Development is future business and I am thankful that I have been able to reconcile my development studies with grass roots development organisation and exchange ideas about the future of Ghana’s economy, education system, and society with the students that will lead Ghana’s future ’.  Timothy Omacar (African Studies and History) another participant said ‘travelling to Ghana was eye opening and the reception was amazing. Beyond Borders was definitely a huge success’.

More information can be found at the SOAS Beyond Borders online home From the tour four audio podcasts on: education, development, society, and investment in Ghana recorded over the tour will be available for download in December 2010.

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