Ashley Beaman

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Waynesburg University

Heinz Programming Area:
Children, Youth, and Families
International Experience Summary:

Ashley Beaman volunteered at Queen Esther’s Day Care and Preparatory School in Ghana, Africa for two months through the organization Projects Abroad. She led a Kindergarten classroom of 23 students during this time. Ashley was in charge of lesson planning, classroom management, and creating fun activities to bring out the children’s creativity. She taught a range of subjects from reading to math, with most of her focus on spoken and written English. Many of the students grew up speaking their native tongue, Twi, and knew only the very basics of English. Ashley saw much improvement in the children’s linguistics throughout her time in Ghana. She also fulfilled the very important role of loving all the students who attended Queen Esther’s. Because of the understaffed conditions of many schools in Ghana, the children do not get the individual love and attention they need. Ashley served as an extra pair of hands to hold, feed, and play with the children. Ashley also lived with a host family while in Ghana. Her host mother, Diana, taught Ashley how to hand wash her laundry in a bucket, and how to cook in an outdoor kitchen over an open flame. She became very close with her host brother Emmanuel, and sister, Hannah, as well as the young children who lived in her complex. Each day Ashley would come home, and was greeted by the young neighborhood kids, whom she played with until evening. Ashley also spent time visiting other schools and orphanages in the surrounding areas. She brought painting and jewelry making activities to the children in Mt. Zion Orphanage, and worked on coloring projects with the special needs students of Adukrom Methodist School. Ashley also learned the basics of the tribal language, Twi, which was widely spoken by everyone in the Akuapem region of Ghana. She experienced the native food, most interestingly Fufu, a paste made from the mashing and crushing of Cassava roots, and even was gifted some of the traditional kente wardrobe.  On the weekends, Ashley would travel by tro-tro, a gutted out van shoved full of people, to all the regions of Ghana with various international volunteers who were from everywhere from Switzerland to England, to Australia. She spent time hiking up mountains, swimming under waterfalls, balancing on a high ropes course above the rainforest canopy, eating with crocodiles, and relaxing on the beach.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Poverty Awareness Community Impact Grant to fund Shoe Purchases for Children Under the Poverty Line in Greene County, PA