Thomas A. McKinley ’06 and Hannah Weil McKinley Summer Fellowship Recipient
While in Ghana, I worked with several organizations:
• Trashy Bags’ mission was to alleviate pollution and poverty through ilillovative recycling
and environmental education.
• Global Ghana Youth Network is a volunteer-run program that aims to educate youth
without access to public schooling in the poor neighborhood of Kissehman.
• Childs Cry Foundation International empowers children by promoting creativity in the
arts, by giving them infonnational technology skills, and through moral education.
Much of my time in Ghana was spent working to set up African Art Stands
(www.africanartstands.wordpress.org) to aid artists and artisans in their work by selling their
paintings and art to galleries overseas, mostly in Alaska and Maine.
The mission of African Art Stands was twofold: besides contributing to artists’ income (the market in Ghana is particularly difficult), giving a broader audience access to these paintings helps educate viewers. In the midst of an overwhelming amount of negative press surrounding Africa, fine art also reflects the beauty and creativity of the place.
The human connections are at the heart of any well-intentioned service project. The long-term
friendships I’ve formed with the six artists I worked very closely with are very precious to me.
The relationships I had with my students and fellow teachers with Global Ghana Youth Network,
my coworkers at Trashy Bags, and my partner at Childs Cry Foundation International were
deeper than I can explain.
- Date September 1, 2010
- Tags 2010, Africa, Arts, McKinley, Social Service