2017 Reach Out And Learn in Ghana, Africa

Conference Description

Reach Out And Learn (ROL) presents the Ghana, Africa Education & Self Reliance training event, 2017 (AKA ROL in Ghana). This event will be held in Ghana (Accra & Cape Coast) October 19-28, 2017. The objective of this event is to provide a setting where foreign professionals receive in-depth training on techniques and practices that will help individuals, families, and communities become more self-sustaining and help those in need. This training is unique in that it is include training to teachers who work with children with autism. It will be a "Train the Trainer"-type course where education professionals, faculty, and students from the U.S. "learn together" with their Ghanaian peers who focus on issues that exist that impact education. The education professionals we train will be tasked with training their colleagues in practices to improve the way they help those in need! The ROL model helps leaders make greater strides toward collaborating together to tackle issues and problems that have inhibited their ability to work together to help those in need.

The objective of this ROL event is to provide an opportunity for service oriented individuals, and those interested in education issues and challenges and the resultant problems, to receive and disseminate best practices and the latest information on topics that improve the quality of education to reach children with special needs. Our effort is to bring together professionals who specialize in areas directly related to autism and to place these experts in an educational setting that fosters learning, stimulates purposeful discussions, and encourages peer networking.

Additionally, at the ROL in Ghana event, we will be promoting "Interweave" self-reliance/micro enterprize training.

Andrea Facer Johnson with school children in Ghana

Bring Friends and Family

This event is designed so that trainers may bring family and friends who may visit rural villages to assess needs and to learn about and experience the Ghanaian people and culture. Cultural/historical tours may also be included that helps our volunteers gain a background from which to better address problems and challenges faced by the Ghanaian people. We plan for conference registrants to join their family members and friends on one of the village days to participate in interactive activities with children in remote villages. Conference directors attending this year have extensive experience in villages doing village activities and on the history of Ghana. Our Travel Service is based in Accra and they are the best! We expect them to get us in and out of places that tour groups cannot go. Our interactive activities with school children brings you to the rural villages outside Accra. Tourists normally don't get this experience. Many past participants have stated that the historical knowledge was awesome but the village experience was the highlight of the week.

Learning in Ghana

We "learn together" as we learn the methods and procedures (treatments) used by foreign professionals to help those in need, and they learn from us!

Proposed Agenda

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Flights from U.S. to Accra, Ghana. Flights usually arrive in Accra in the late evening. Transport to hotel for a short nights stay.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Training day, in schools in Accra.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Travel to a rural village for humanitarian-type activities and public health assessments. Dinner this evening is on own.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Projects and activities at the New Life International Orphanage, including sewing projects, dresses, days for girls, school supplies, singing in schools, dancing.

Monday, October 23 2017

Visit to New Horizons Special School and Reyo Special Needs school

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Training day, at the McCarthy Hill School

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

We plan visits to rural schools today with a focus on education. Some in our group (Educators) may have opportunities to interact and learn together with teachers and students. We will have a group dinner this evening.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

We have arranged to visit a special needs school or orphanage today.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cultural and Historical visits to sites that will help our volunteers gain a better understanding of those they serve and help in Ghana. We have found that when we have a knowledge of the history and culture, we are better able to assess needs. Slave Castle, Canopy Walk back to Accra.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Touring/Shopping in Accra, Late return flights to U.S. (around 10pm)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Some in our group, based upon their departure plans, may join tours to other cities or nearby countries.

Arrive home in afternoon/early evening

Conference Faculty

Andrea Facer Johnson, B.A. Education

I have had 12 years of experience in special education. Teaching in public school districts, charter schools and virtual charter schools were all rewarding. I was “Teacher of the Year,” then was chosen by Utah State Office of Education to be “Utah Charter School Teacher of the Year.” I was also honored and featured on the front cover of Wasatch Woman. Some of my highlights as a teacher involved creating a program where I brought groups of teachers to teach at an orphanage in Ghana, Africa during the summers. We brought over books students in America created during the previous school year and taught orphans how to read using these books, “Children Helping Children,” was the theme for those experiences. It was rewarding watching the children in Africa faces light up as we gave them the books, and watching the children in America faces light up as they knew they helped someone else learn how to read. I am still activily involved in humanitarian services and have involvement with 18acres in Ghana where I hope to build a community center and trade school someday.

I have always sought out alternative treatments for special education students and was lucky enough to do research with National Association of Child Development and The Listening Program. My students had dramatic results and would love to see these programs in schools across America.

“We Are Friends” has been evolving over the past 8 years. For the last 2 years I stopped teaching so I could work full time, on my own dime, researching, developing and testing this curriculum. I am often asked “Why are you doing this?” My answer is “Because it works! Shame on me if I do not provide this opportunity for every child with Autism.” My results are beyond phenomenal and I can’t wait to share it with more children. My goal is, once fully developed, to have this curriculum used at home and in schools throughout the world. My focus is Autism, but this curriculum improves social skills for anyone.

In addition to being a wife to an incredible supportive husband, I am a mother of 3 beautiful children. I also currently serve as a board member to the charity group Reach Out and Learn and a board member to the charter school, Early Light Academy.

Andrea's website is Teaching It Right
Michael J. Huntsman, M.B.A., Operations Director

Mike is the Executive Director for Reach Out And Learn. He received his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix in January of 1993. His Bachelor of Science degree is from Brigham Young University. Mike was also a faculty member with the University of Phoenix for 10-years. He enjoys a variety of work, and spends a significant amount of time designing brochures, postcards, and Web sites. In his free time he enjoys gardening (especially grapes and walnut trees), beekeeping and bike riding.

Questions & Answers (FAQs)

Please check back as updates to this information are added periodically

What is included with my Registration Fees?

Includes all the arrangements to visit universities, rural villages, cultural/historical sites, and schools. Also includes ground transportation and hotel accommodations. Does not include your roundtrip flight from the United States to Accra, medical insurance, personal expenses, or meals (although breakfast is usually provided by the hotel and some lunches, and at least one group dinner).

How do I book and pay for a flight from the United States, to and from Accra?

1. Purchase a ticket through an online travel site (Orbitz, Delta, United, Expedia, Travelosity, Yahoo Travel, etc.), or...
2. Check specific airline Websites (American, Delta, United, China East Airline, etc.) or...
3. Use your frequent flier miles/award points,
4. Call a travel agent at a travel service such as Christopherson Travel. Christopherson Business Travel: 866 327-7606 Toll free, 801 327-7668 Direct line

When should I purchase my USA to Accra airline ticket?

In recent years, we have found that prior to 4-months out has been the best option. We have shopped both Orbitz and the major airline (Delta, United, Hainan) Web sites. We have found that the prices change significantly (up and down) from day to day.

Should I purchase Travel Insurance?

We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. It is available from various providers. Just do a Google search for "travel or trip insurance and you will find many options.

What should I pack? The following list includes packing list suggestions: (It is not recommended that you bring everything on this list)

Additional tourist attire:

Waterproof sandals
Nice comfortable attire such as slacks or skirt and dress shirt for sit-down dinner or possible worship services

Personal Medical Pouch (we recommend the following):

Insect repellent & itch-balm plus or other hydrocortisone-base cream
Sunscreen along with Chapstick or Blistex-type lip ointment
Small first aid kit with Band-Aids, ointment, tweezers, medications etc.
Pain reliever
Diarrhoea medication (Imodium/Pepto Bismo, etc.)
Constipation medication
Cold & allergy medication, throat lozenges or cough drops
Other personal prescriptions if applicable

Personal Toiletries:

Personal hygiene items—toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, towel, wash cloth, soap, deodorant, etc. (an antiseptic cleanser can be a skin saver)
Toilet paper (you may prefer several pocket pouches of Kleenex)
Antibacterial wet wipes--the equivalent of 80-100 wipes per person. Individual pouches can be very convenient.


Personal snack supply: You will buy your own food/water in country, but if you are a "picky eater" or have favorites you can't live without…bring your snacks you prefer (trail mix, granola bars, dried fruit, etc.)
Headlamp or emergency flash light (to be used when the power goes out)
Box/Duct/Strapping tape to be used to repair luggage or to use in the villages.

Personal safety and getting around

Avoid carrying a purse when you go out. It's best to have some sort of money belt that sits under your clothes. Keep a tight grip on things such as your camera.

Items to entertain or leave with those in the villages

Small "American" footballs, soccer balls (you can bring them deflated, then pump them up in the village (bring a small bike pump and a ball needle)
Long jump ropes (more than one person can jump at the same time)
Cultural sharing items i.e. a small musical instrument that you play, magic tricks, costume, etc.
Compact indoor games or projects i.e. cards or beads & yarn
Compact outdoor games (i.e. Wiffle ball, bubbles & blower)

What can I bring with me to have for village children?

We have found that it is best to allocate funds to purchase available items in Ghana, rather than transport items in luggage.
English learning materials designed for younger children (4 to 9 years old) - these can be cards with pictures that provide a simple way to learn English words.

Art or craft materials that the students can use (preferably materials that are reusable).

They love bubbles, used tennis balls, finger paints. They also like their finger nails painted.

Colored pencils and crayons are always a hit. But don't bring paper because it can be purchased cheaply here in Accra and it is heavy to bring in your luggage.

Magic tricks are also popular. Don't bring clothes or shoes for the school children.

Colorful hair bows and ribbons

What can I bring with me to donate to village adults?

Hygiene Kits (We will plan to present these to the village leaders/school master)

1 hair brush
4 toothbrushes
1 tube toothpaste (be sure to put this in your "checked" luggage and in a zip-lock bag)
1 bar of soap
1 dozen colored hair ties
2 wash cloths
Put these items in a one-gallon zip lock bag, then put the zip lock bag in a cloth bag with rope draw string.

Passport and Immigration Card

Keep your passport and immigration card in a convenient, yet secure, spot. When checking into hotels, onto planes and trains, into historical sites, leaving the country, etc., you are required to show your passport. Your Immigration form will be required when you leave Ghana for your return flight to the U.S. I scan my passport and email it as an attachment to myself or upload it to Google docs or other online place that I can access if necessary.

Missed flights, missed connections, delayed luggage, etc.

Reach Out And Learn is not responsible for missed flights, missed connections, standby flights, missing luggage, delayed luggage, your late arrival to Accra, or airline change fees. We have learned that it is important to have at least two hours between flights in order to have time to make connecting flights. When making your flight reservations from the U.S. to Accra, you may choose to select an itinerary that has at least two hours between connecting flights. If your flight from the U.S. to Accra is postponed or delayed for any reason, we will anticipate that you will join our activities when you arrive in Accra. We are also not responsible if you miss bus, train, or airline departures in Ghana. We are not responsible for your wake up calls or to make sure you board buses, trains, or flights in time for their departures. However, we will make reasonable effort to make you aware of our itinerary and departure times so you can plan for and anticipate departures so you will be able to continue with the group.

What hotels are we planning to stay at?

Flights typically arrive in Accra in the late evening.

We book hotels that are convenient to historical, shopping, and transportation hubs.

Rooms will be arranged "double occupancy" or greater (at least two people to a room).

In order for us to reserve a room, you must register online (for this ROL event at least 60 days before your arrival in Accra.

Where can I find traveller health/vaccination information?

Please visit the CDC Website http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/Ghana to find Traveller recommendations. For general questions, please contact the Reach Out & Learn Office. Email: info@reachoutandlearn.org

What village activities will I participate in?
We plan to travel to remote rural villages to interact with school children with activities such as English lessons, coloring pictures, jewelry making, soccer, frisbee, bubble blowing, etc. We also plan to work on village, family, and personal histories. We also plan to conduct needs assessments to discover and propose better ways for villagers to heat their homes, cook their food, wash their clothes, eat nutritious meals, drink pure water, etc.

When can I give items to children and community members?

Reach Out And Learn has found that the best way for us to distribute items is to give them to professionals in our humanitarian conferences and have them give them to people in need in small villages. Local professionals typically know those who are most in need. We also plan to give items such as first-aid and hygiene kits to the community leaders, such as the school master or teacher.

Registration Cancellation Policy

Conference cancellation requests received 70 days before your arrival in Ghana, will receive a full refund minus a $200 cancellation fee. Conference registration requests received after 70 days before your arrival in Ghana, wll receive no refund. Please send cancellation requests to info@reachoutandlearn.org. You must receive a cancellation confirmation (e-mail) from us to confirm your cancellation.

Information About Travelling to and getting around in Ghana

Lonely Planet Website or online search, Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

Reach Out And Learn Event Cancellation Policy

Please register as early as possible, as the Expedition Planning Committee may cancel the event if a minimum number of registrants is not reached.


Reach Out And Learn reserves the right to change information on this Web page as well as arrangements associated with our agenda or the conference or expedition agendas, as necessary.

Paying by Check?

If paying by check, please make checks payable to Reach Out And Learn and mail to 188 W. 2000 S. Bountiful, Utah 84010-5553. We can also arrange for you to pay by Venmo or other money transfer method.

Continuing Education Information

Each conference participant will receive a certificate of attendance/participation.