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Peace Corps Ghana Calabash
June 2011


Calabash 2 of 5

Welcome to the second Calabash! This calabash commemorates the Peace Corps in Ghana during the 1970's. The calabash was held on April 26, 2011 and shared by currently serving PCVs in Ghana and some Peace Corps staff members after a full day of outreach and community service. Over 20 calabashes were raised in toast of the ongoing volunteer spirit in Ghana. The group recognized Ghana RPCVs currently working in Ghana, planted the 50th Anniversary Baobab Tree (to be transplanted this rainy season as a part of our 50th Celebration), and reviewed some of the stories and pictures that have been submitted by RPCVs and Ghanaians through our History Archival Project. The day was festive but we noticed that we still lack adequate pictures and stories from our past, especially the 1970's...

In the 1970's:

  • PCVs continue teaching in schools throughout Ghana.
  • PCV projects extend into several rural development sectors: agriculture; health and nutrition; and small business.
  • A total In-Country Pre-Service Training (PST) is held for the first time at the University of Ghana, Legon in 1970.
  • Twi, Fante, Ewe, Dagbani, Hausa, and Ga languages are taught.
  • PCV numbers in the Ghana swell to 200 - 400. (PCV numbers reach the highest in country, 415).
  • PC Ghana's first blind PCV is assigned to the Akropong School for the Blind.

Drum Recognition Ceremony

In 2010, Peace Corps Ghana launched a program that awarded hand-carved, 50th Anniversary commemorative drums in recognition of the many who support Peace Corps Ghana. Drums have been officially presented to the Director of Peace Corps; the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana; the USAID Director for Ghana (and RPCV from Ghana!); and several other RPCVs working in Ghana. PCVs presented drums to their APCDs during the All Volunteer Conference and dashed a few out to RPCVs in recognition of their service around the world. Several currently serving PCVs have received or acquired these drums. If you are interested in honoring the Peace Corps Ghana 50th legacy with the gift of a drum, please contact us.

Media Campaign

We update our media to deliver information about Peace Corps Ghana and our 50th celebrations. Please find, friend, join, attend, or follow us on:

History Archives Action Required!

We have had some tremendous success in our efforts to collect and document our 50 year history but we still have a lot of blank pages in our history book. Thank you to those of you who have submitted images, stories, videos, and artifacts. Some of the highlights so far:

  • Pictures of the first Peace Corps Office and of the first Peace Corps vehicles (Old Green Jeeps!);
  • Stories from Ghanaians about their experiences with volunteers over the years;
  • Images from the first non-formal education groups: Geology I and II;
  • The original Peace Corps Ghana cutlass;
  • Peace Corps branded Batik and T-shirts from different volunteer groups;
  • Testimony from many RPCVs; and
  • Pictures from all decades!

Our History Project has led to a few reunions between RPCVs and their Ghanaian counterparts. The happy memories and positive emotion involved with reunions of this special quality has become a defining element to our 50th celebrations.

We will continue to collect and organize information from our past, but the formal collection phase of our 50th Anniversary History Archival Project will end soon. We hope to collect as much information (stories, pictures, videos, artifacts, etc.) over the next few weeks before we compile and finalize a commemorative product in time for Peace Corps Ghana's Golden Jubilee. Please get your submissions in ASAP!

Local Event Schedule UPDATE

  • March 1, 2011: 1st Calabash, "The Start of our Agency." National Peace Corps Day of Service in Accra and Washington D.C.
  • April 26, 2011: 2nd Calabash, "Growing our Mission." Earth Day Service in Accra. (Baobab seedling growing well!)
  • May 21, 2011: Peace Corps Stakeholder Social Event at Citizen Kofi's. Accra.
  • May 23, 2011: Peace Corps Ghana's new full-time training team starts.
  • June 8, 2011: 72 new trainees arrive. First libation is poured. Accra.
  • July, 2011: 3rd Calabash, "Building our Capacity." Kumasi Peace Corps Sub Office mural and Food Security Digital Library dedication. KSO.
  • July or August, 2011: 4th Calabash, "Sharing our Story." Finalize archives; launch time capsule; plant 50th Anniversary baobab sapling. Accra and UER. NOTE: This event is TBD - we'd like to coordinate and share this calabash with those of you planning to return to Ghana for the 50th that may not make it for the August 30th event. Please let us know when you are coming.
  • August 15 - 30ish, 2011: 5th Calabash, "By the Crooked Tree." Tamale Peace Corps Sub Office mural dedication; "Farmer's Friend" launch; Northern Region Site Development IST, visit to the 35th Anniversary Kapok Tree. TSO and UER.
  • August 30, 2011: Capstone 50th Anniversary Event - Swearing In Ceremony for the 2011 PCV Group. The "Next" Calabash "Pouring Libation." Accra. Venue TBD.

Please email us if you are interested in attending or participating in any of these events. REMEMBER, our Peace Corps budget is humble; we cannot offer to help with any costs. But we can invite you to join us!

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any interest person or groups.

Thank you for your service and support over the past five decades! Happy 50th!