These Girls are GHANA Change the World!
In early October, I fulfilled one of my goals in life by taking a group of teenage girls to Ghana, West Africa. My dream for over ten years was to start an international exposure club for girls and last month I brought that dream to life through an organization I founded, Destination Liberation. Our mission is to educate, expose, and empower young girls of color throughout the African Diaspora. This was an exceptional trip because it occurred during the Year of the Return.
What is the Year of the Return? The Year of the Return commemorates the first enslaved African being brought to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 and is emblematic of the start of the transatlantic slave trade in the United States. While we were there, we toured museums and monuments like the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and participated in a variety of crafting experiences. The food was awesome too.
While these things made the trip enjoyable, our most amazing experiencing was partnering with Environment 360 to facilitate a solid waste workshop at the Bishop School for Girls. Unfortunately, Ghana has a huge solid waste problem. The landfill in Accra is over capacity and the beautiful shoreline is often riddled with washed up plastic. After learning briefly about climate change and how the production of new materials contributes to that, our teenagers from the United States teamed with their Ghanaian peers to take waste material and create products that can be reused. The girls’ creatively thought of ways to make reusable items from cardboard, pipe cleaners, plastic bottles, and paper. While the girls may not reuse these particular items, we taught them more about their personal impact on the environment and how removing items from the waste stream through reduction, reuse, and recycling could increase health outcomes and economic viability in the country.
As we travel, we understand it’s not only important to see the sites and experience the local culture but for us it’s also important to collaborate with peers to learn valuable team building and critical thinking skills around challenges that exist within the country. Our goal is to create well rounded global citizens and through this experience in Ghana we are taking the first step.
To learn more about Destination Liberation, go to www.destinationliberation.org
Chanceé Lundy is the Co-Founder of Nspiregreen LLC where she serves as the Principal Environmental Manager. She received her MS in Civil Engineering and BS in Environmental Engineering. Chanceé is an engineer, author, and community servant as evidenced through her work. She is the founder of Destination Liberation, an international exposure club for young girls and the author of It's Just High School: The Beauty, Pain, and Pressure of High School Life. Lastly, she is a wife and mother of one rambunctious toddler.