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This article was published 16/9/2010 (3353 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A group of students who went on a groundbreaking mission to Ghana this summer are letting their pictures tell their stories.
Nine students from the University of Manitoba’s faculty of architecture, along with professor Kelley Beaverford and two professors from the University of Qatar, began a five-week trip to the African nation in May.
During their trip, which was part of a course called Service Learning in the Global Community, the group helped local labourers build a boarding house for more than 60 Ghanaian schoolgirls.
While learning about design and construction, the participants also developed skills in cross-cultural communication and world citizenship.
And now the group will present a collection of photographs taken during their African adventure at an exhibition called Miles to Educate in Winnipeg.
The free exhibition will run until Sept. 24 at RAW: Gallery of Architecture & Design, which is located in the basement of the Glengarry Building at 290 McDermott Ave.
"The focus of this event is partly to inform, because few people, even within our architecture faculty, know that this program exists," said Marianne Moquin, 28, key organizer of the exhibition, who was speaking hours before it was due to open.
The master’s degree student, who lives in East Kildonan, said it was also an opportunity to communicate with loved ones.
"Family and friends are often so curious about how the trip went, but how can you summarize the experience in a few sentences?" Moquin said.
"I hope this way they will get a better sense of how things were for us, because the images will show the nitty-gritty of the building aspects of the trip, the people we worked with and the town we stayed in."
Working in excruciating heat, the group laboured manually for five weeks to help build the boarding house in the town of Damongo, which included a kitchen, dining hall and study.
"By the time we left Ghana, we had got used to the heat. But the first day we got there, we thought we were going to die. It feels like putting your head in a sauna and not being able to get it out," Moquin said.
"And compared to Canadians, I was amazed by the fact they don’t waste anything," she added.
"There were no garbage dumps. Every little piece of scarp metal is recycled, as everything is considered a valuable material. Even the cement bags were used as hats."
Kelley Beaverford, an associate professor in the department of interior design at the U of M’s faculty of architecture, said this was the fourth time the university had offered the global learning course to its students.
"It was like a step back into an era of high craftsmanship," said Beaverford, who lives in Fort Rouge. "Also, because they don’t waste any materials, I think it gave the students a greater awareness of sustainability issues."
"In terms of the exhibition, we want to share our incredible experiences and also share the global service experience. Much of this course is about global citizenship and celebrating the experience," she added.
For more information, call Beaverford at 474-8654.
Community journalist — The Lance
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7111