Today we spent the morning at Effiduase School, a unit school in which Belinda works. TC has been working with Belinda, a teacher of students with disabilities, for the past 7 years. Her class was comprised of 45 students ranging from age 3 to 22, all with a range of disabilities. We were all beaming as we walked into Belinda’s classroom. All of the supplies that TC has donated over the years were seen throughout the classroom and were being utilized! The opportunity that we were given to co-teach with Belinda was an invigorating experience–the students remained engaged throughout the lessons, and were excited to learn. We were all in awe of Belinda’s expertise as a teacher.
We also went to the local market with the students. There, they showed us how they use their AAC market cards to buy goods. It was amazing to see the market women recognize and engage with the students in an extremely friendly manner.
After we left Effiduase, we added to our cultural experience by watching traditional kente cloth weaving, natural ink extraction, and wood carving. We also stumbled a upon a traditional Muslim funeral which we couldn’t pass up. Funerals in Ghana tend to be a large celebration open to the public, and an all day event! We were warmly welcomed and included, and we were even asked to dance a traditional Ashanti dance in front of the everyone there.
Later in the evening, Belinda came and spoke to our class about the challenges she has faced while pursuing a career in special education in Ghana, and the process of starting a unit school in this community. Belinda’s dedication to her students and to the field of special education has improved the the lives of many despite the prevalent cultural taboos that still exist in Ghana.
Thanks to Katie Mosher for the post.