Spotlight on Service - Yoni Kirsch - Ghana
For the past three months, I’ve been working at the Autism Awareness Center in Kokomlemle, Accra, Ghana. Mrs. Serwah Quaynor founded the center in 1998 when she found there were no resources in Ghana for parents with children with autism, like herself. The center serves as a school for children as young as 5 and as old as 19, and also provides training and support to their families.
A typical day at school begins at 9:00 with circle time, when we sing songs to welcome all the students. I help out in the primary classroom, where there are 10 students and nearly that many staff and volunteers. This allows for a lot of individual attention. The school day officially ends at 2:00, but many of the kids don’t get picked up until 5:00. Throughout the day we have different activities including: academic skills, art, language, exercise and jobs. My job is to try and engage Paa Kow, the student I am paired with, in all of the activities. Paa Kow doesn’t have much speech, which presents challenges, but we’ve found other ways to communicate. I’m really enjoying working with Paa Kow and all of the staff and children at the Center.