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Peace Corps Ghana Calabash
August 2011

Calabash 3 of 5

Welcome to the third Calabash. This calabash commemorates the Peace Corps in Ghana during the 1980's. The calabash was held on July 3 and 4 at the Kumasi Sub Office (coined the "KSO Calabash"). Over 30 PCVs, staff, and invited guests raised their calabashes in honor of the PCVs and Ghanaians who have been a part of our incredible legacy. Participants dedicated murals at the sub office and planted the 50th Anniversary Boabob Tree. The group cheered the official launch of the KSO Food Security Digital Library and ushered in an unprecedented era of digital resource management for volunteers. We painted calabashes as a part of our 50th Anniversary calabash art project. Please see pictures of this event at on our Facebook page.

In the 1980's

  • PCVs continue teaching in schools throughout Ghana.
  • Over 2,000 PCVs have served in Ghana, thousands of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) share their experiences of Ghana back home.
  • PCV numbers in Ghana shrink to below 100 (PCV numbers reach a minimum of 30 in 1983).
  • PCVs work in Women in Development (WID) projects and help women's groups generate income.
  • PCVs start work in fish farming and forest conservation.

Calabash Art Project
The calabash is a symbol of community. Grown on a tree or vine, calabashes are "nature's bowl" and have been used in Ghana for generations to take food or drink in the community of others. The Ga people have a song set to their traditional kpanlogo rhythm, "Everybody! Everybody! Bring your calabash!" This song is an example of how important the calabash is to the indigenous culture of Ghana. It is an ancient symbol of sharing together.

In this spirit, the calabash is an important symbol for our 50th Anniversary. It represents the community of Ghanaians and Americans who have worked together over the past 50 years in our mission of peace and friendship. The calabash is a friendly reminder that "you are invited" to share a meal or hospitality in Ghana.

So we are inviting all trainees, PCVs, and select RPCVs from Ghana to paint a calabash and commemorate our 50th Anniversary. These painted calabashes will help decorate our office in Accra and remain a testament to 50 years of cooperation between the U.S. and Ghana. (Please see examples on our Facebook page) We have calabashes and paint; we need you to make the art. Come by our office, get your calabash!

Meet Joe Bee
1961 witnessed the first ever PCVs to arrive in Ghana. They were teachers in the very first Education Sector, a project now with the added distinction of being the longest running Peace Corps program in the world. For 50 years, PCVs have taught in Ghana schools. Today, they continue teaching math and science throughout the country. PCV teachers also teach Information Communication Technology (ICT) and some are assigned to deaf schools to teach art.

Mr. Joseph Boamah "Joe Bee" has been leading the Education sector in Ghana for over a decade. His leadership of this program has enabled generations of PCVs to reach into Ghana schools and have a positive impact on Ghana youth. Joe Bee knows how important this is. Growing up in Ghana, Joe Bee was educated in Ghana schools. Between 1968 and 1972, he studied math and science under the direction of two PCV teachers. Joe Bee gives credit to these PCVs teachers for helping him achieve in life. Joe Bee's legacy with Peace Corps spans over 40 years. Next year, Joe Bee will retire from Peace Corps but he will leave a positive and lasting impression on the Education program and PCVs he guided. Thank you Joe Bee! "Hwe me so ma menibi nti na atwe mmienu nam!"

Media Campaign
In recognition of our 50th Anniversary, we have started a variety of media activities to deliver information about Peace Corps Ghana. Please find, friend, join, attend, or follow us on:

Local Event Timeline

  • March 1, 2011: 1st Calabash (National Peace Corps Month - "The Start of our Agency") Accra and Washington D.C.
  • April 26, 2011: 2nd Calabash (Earth Day Service Activities - "Growing our Mission") Accra.
  • July 3 and 4, 2011: 3rd Calabash (African Republic/American Independence Celebration. Kumasi Peace Corps Sub Office mural and digital library launching - "Building our Capacity"). AKA, the KSO Calabash.
  • August 25, 2011: 4th Calabash (Tamale Peace Corps Sub Office mural dedication and Northern Region site development - "By the Crooked Tree"). Tamale/Bolgatanga, UER.
  • August 30, 2011: Swearing In Ceremony of Group 50 (5th Calabash "Pouring Libation"). Accra. Please note: we are using diplomatic channels to arrange the final logistics for this event. At this point, nothing specific is set except for the day. We hope to have more concrete details soon. For those of you joining us in Accra for the big event, stay tuned for details...

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!

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