Summer 2015 Fellowship Overview and Research Topics

LAGIM TEHI TUMA:
Dalun BiCo Summer Action Research Fellowship

Introduction: Lagim Tehi Tuma; in English: Thinking Together

Lagim Tehi Tuma, The Bi-Co Dalun Summer Action Research Fellowship, is a 10-week learning program, beginning with an interactive intensive on team building, knowledge building, and skill building, followed by a series of projects with the US team and Ghanaian partners — community leaders and counterpart students — to do and share research on a series of topics and to imagine ways to bring this research into various community goals and contexts. The intensive launch will include research skills, material and speakers about Ghanaian history, and readings in intercultural collaboration. The fellowship will culminate in a summit where findings, next steps, and new questions are shared with a broader audience. Fellows will then take the Education course “Education, Technology and Society: Altering Environments” or the Anthropology Course, “Africa in the World” in order to reflect on and extend their summer learning. They will also interact with two visitors from Dalun who will come to campus this fall.

Who?

Two Bryn Mawr and one Haverford student, with summer funding from LILAC and CPGC, respectively. ¬†They will collaborate with three undergraduates from the University for Development Studies, in concert with a group of community mentors from Dalun. Successful fellows will be people comfortable with “making the plane while flying it.” In other words, this fellowship is for people who like to collaborate and co-create new things, connect with new people, and imagine new possibilities. This fellowship is also well suited to students interested in exploring West African history, questions of identity, culture, and language, and possibilities for exchange and collaboration facilitated by distance technologies.

Why?

The BiCo-Dalun Fellowship is part of a partnership between Bryn Mawr and Haverford and Dalun, Ghana, a rural community in Northern Ghana. The partnership includes Titagya Schools, an early education project co-founded by a Haverford alumnus with Ghanaian colleagues; the University for Development Studies, Ghana’s state university in the Northern Region; the Dalun ICT Centre, the community’s first internet cafe; and Simli Radio, the community radio station for the region. For the past two summers, BiCo students have traveled to Dalun to do the fellowship there. This summer, owing to uncertainty about the Ebola epidemic (though mindful that Ebola is not in Ghana), the collaboration will go forward without student travel to Ghana.

Research Areas (to be refined through the fellowship)

1. HISTORY Study of the history of Dagbon and Ghana, which will be spearheaded by Ibrahim Alhassan as Ghanaian mentor.

2. RADIO Simli Community Radio broadcast on topics to be determined with Alhassan Ubeiru serving as a Ghanaian collaborator.

3. TITAGYA SCHOOLS Creation/organization of Titagya curriculum modules, assessment plans/public relations and social media outreach, with Ghana mentor Abdul-Azeez Mahama.

4. GENDER EQUITY Creation of gender based equality discussion and project assisted by Alhassan Mariam as Ghanaian mentor.

5. DAGBANI Creation of Dagbani instructional tapes/videos to expose fellows to the medium of communication in Dalun, the dagbani language, it will be spearheaded by Alhassan Sumaila.

6. HEALTH Health and Ebola discussion. This is to create a platform for close discussion on community health and Ebola, and Rahi Sule will serve as a Ghanaian mentor.

7. ICT Creation of online tutorials for use in the ICT centre. This is to broaden the scope of the ICT lessons in Dalun ICT centre. It will be supported in Ghana by Safianu Mahama.

8. LITERATURE Creation of a literature discussion group to work on ideas for extending Ghanaian literature into the curriculum in Ghana and the US, with Ishak.

9. DIGITAL STORYTELLING Documentation of these projects for a broader online audience with Maccarthy Lomotey of HOPIN Academy as the Ghanaian partner.

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Thinking Together — a Summer Action Research Fellowship in Northern Ghana and Pennsylvania, USA