Lafeesah Waalee

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Lincoln University

Heinz Programming Area:
International Experience Summary:

Lafeesah Waalee spent the summer studying at the University of Ghana in Accra, Ghana. She took classes in classic literature and African music and dance. During her spare time Lafeesah had the opportunity to volunteer at the University of Ghana Basic School (U GBS). While studying, she stayed on campus and was able to experience the busy city life in the country’s capitol. Staying on campus in a hostel also allowed her to interact with Ghanaian students as well as students from Nigeria, Canada and Peru. Most of her time was spent at the UGBS where she volunteered three times a week. There she was able to observe and teach a third grade class of forty-eight students. She was amazed at their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and education. In her free time, Lafeesah interacted with the students in the hostel by going out to the movies or the beach. On the weekends she traveled out of the city. She went to Kumasi as well as Cape Coast. While traveling, she experienced the various lifestyles of Ghanaians and was able to embrace all aspects of the very diverse culture. She learned some of the language and ate the local dishes; she even had traditional clothes made. She experienced a kindness that was unparalleled, and by the end of her journey, the Ghanaians claimed her as an honorary Ghanaian, capping a beautiful experience that she would never forget.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Going Beyond Poverty: A Look at Destitution Worldwide

My CEE was called Going Beyond Poverty: A Look at Destitution Worldwide. The program was focused on the effects, contributing factors and causes of destitution. It was an hour and a half presentation and interactive experience that challenged what students know and understand about destitution. Going Beyond Poverty (GBP) was presented in four parts. The first part of the program was an introduction to Destitution. It included me asking the audience what they though some characteristics of destitution were and then later forming a definition that everyone agreed with. After the definition was formed the audience had the chance to interact with different stations that showcased specific issues that destitute people have. These issues included water pollution, hunger, and education access. After the audience spent time at the stations, we recapped what everyone learned. While doing this, I was able to get the audience involved in the presentation and share the knowledge that they retained with the rest of the audience. The next part of the program included a video. The video showed a woman from a Bangladeshi slum as she discussed her living conditions and the problems she faced each day. The video was used as a way to get the audience to sympathize with the issue and put face to some of the statistics they were presented with. The final part of my CEE focused on the audience and what they learned. I started with the question “Why should we care?” Then, I asked the question “What should we do?” Each of these questions was answered with many responses from enthusiastic individuals ready to effect change!