In this course, we will examine key issues affecting the well-being of children and youth from a global perspective. The interface of cultural values with dominant areas of social concern will be considered within the contexts of family, school, and community. Childhood socialization during an era of rapid global change will be explored, and particular attention will be given to gender issues. The theme of risk and resilience will be integrated throughout the course as major challenges and opportunities for children and youth are addressed. Models of effective intervention for at-risk youth will be explored, and factors related to positive development will be identified. In addition, the transition process from youth to adulthood will be explored in the context of the countries visited on the voyage.
Field WorkCountry: Ghana
Date: April 3, 2018
SOS Children’s Villages is an independent organization of social development, which works with thousands of children at risk around the world. They seek to give them the opportunity to enjoy a happy childhood characterized by positive experiences. SOS Children’s Villages has been working in Ghana since 1974 and has helped to transform the life of many children and families. They work for the rights of children, specifically for the right of children to live in a family. They work on behalf of abandoned children or whose families are unable to care for them. They give these children the opportunity to build lasting relationships within a family.
Our field class will occur in Tema, Ghana. We will visit one of the SOS villages and learn about the ways in which they work with children and teenagers from impoverished neighborhoods. We will have an opportunity to discuss how these issues are similar and different from the issues in the home country of the students in the class. A translator will be provided to enable students to interact, have conversations and/or interview children and their “mothers”. While we are at the Village, we will engage in a service project of the Village’s choice. Observations and interactions will be directed towards meeting specific goals identified prior to the visit. Each student will write a reflection paper about his or her time at the center. The paper will be 3 pages double spaced and follow an outline given in class. This reflection paper will be due on B23.
1. To learn about SOS Villages in Ghana and the services they provide for children and teenagers from impoverished neighborhoods
2. To interact and work with a group of children and teenagers of Ghana
3. To examine SOS Villages in Ghana as an opportunity for international involvement working with children and/or youth.