The Ware Institute for Civic Engagement is pleased to offer this alternative winter break community-based learning trip. This is a joint project between Franklin & Marshall College and the Heritage Academy in Ghana, West Africa. Through this program F&M students will gain exposure to global issues while helping the Heritage Academy students to find solutions to some local problems.
In the spirit of community solidarity and engaged learning, Ware Institute programs have a strict conduct policy and are drug free.
Kwesi Koomson ‘97, a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, dreamed of starting a school near his home village of Essiam in Ghana, West Africa. In 2004 he returned to Essiam and founded Heritage Academy (PK-9) in a small church starting with 32 students. Melissa Schoerke Koomson is the wife and philanthropic partner of Kwesi Koomson. In 2006 Melissa founded the Schoerke Foundation, which supports the Heritage Academy. The Academy is a licensed and registered private educational institution in Ghana. Since 2004, the school has grown to over 1200 students on two campuses and consistently scored 100% pass on the national exams in a district where the average pass rate is 42%. In the fall of 2011, Heritage Academy expanded to include a secondary school (10-12).
Kwesi and Melissa currently teach at The Westtown School, a Quaker school near West Chester, PA.
'11, post-graduate fellow for human rights and social justice, the Ware Institute, will acompany students on this trip. Lilah has run the program in Ghana for two years. Kwesi Koomson ’97 has lead twelve trips to the Heritage Academy over the last six years. Although he will not be traveling with the students, he will coordinate with the Ware Institute to prepare trip participants for their teaching assignments, and time in Ghana.
When students arrive at Heritage Academy, they will be directed by Mr. Oduro Koomson, Kwesi’s brother, Heritage Academy headmaster, Mr. DeGraft Tawiaha nd and trip coordinator, Lilah Thompson '11.