We will set off on the 1st September 2010 for a period of 22 days. Initially we will be based in Nigeria before we move on to Ghana; travelling through Togo and Benin in transit.
In Nigeria we have agreed a partnership with the University of Lagos and they will host us for a period of 7 days. The University of Ibadan will join us on the University of Lagos campus and this will signify the start of an historic association. During the 7 days, the SOAS football team will play one friendly football match against the University of Lagos, and another against the University of Ibadan. We will also be engaging in two themed debates; one topic will be decided by the SOAS representatives, and the other decided by the University of Lagos representatives. Each debate team must consist of two male students and one female student. Whilst at the University of Lagos, the SOAS students will spend much time learning about different aspects of Nigerian culture. This involves excursions to local historical sites as well as informal Yoruba lessons with University of Lagos students. We will also go on a visit to the University of Ibadan campus.
At the end of the 7 day period the SOAS students will move on to Lagos State University where we will spend two days. We will play against their varsity football side in a friendly match and receive a tour of their external campuses. On the 10th September we will continue our West African journey and head towards the border with Benin.
Benin and Togo
The distance between Lagos and Accra, our Ghanaian destination, is roughly 230 miles. However, we have allocated a whole day for this journey because we are keen to visit prominent sights such as the famous Ouidah Slave Coast.
We will arrive in Ghana on the 11th September. The team will spend 4 days in Accra; playing a match against the University of Ghana and taking part in various cultural activities. On the 14th September we will take the short trip west to Cape Coast for its historical significance and to play a match with the University of Cape Coast.
From the 15th September we will travel east to a small town called Ho in the Volta region. Here we will team up with a local NGO called “Disaster Volunteers of Ghana”. We will stay here for three days while we help to build a local school. There is a real community ethos in Ho and here you see children from the age of 6, right up to elderly citizens of 70 trying to help to build this community school. Their efforts would really benefit from having an extra 21 pairs of hands on the job, and it is important that our development aims are realised in the grassroots.
The final few days of the tour will be spent in the fishing village of Kokrobite. As the tour reaches its climax the SOAS students will play against a local professional side. We will also be conducting coaching sessions with local children, and visiting the local orphanage to spend a day helping out. During the stay in Kokrobite, we will be treated to a local dinner hosted by people from the village and will get to experience and take part in the Ghanaian drumming for which the village is particularly renowned. On the 22nd September we will make the journey back from Ho to Accra and fly back to London.