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Placement student leads initiative to improve access to education

Sociology and Social Policy student Charlie Young on developing The Kids’ Fund while on placement in Ghana.

Charlie Young with two children on her placement in Ghana
Charlie Young with two of the children her project is helping to get access to education

On my placement year, I secured the position of Field Researcher at a small non-government organisation in Accra, Ghana, called Alliance for African Women Initiative (AFAWI).

The work involved data collection, data entry, report writing and fundraising for all the projects running in the time I was there. I learnt a great deal about grassroots development and the challenges involved in implementing and conducting research and development projects.

I was able to coordinate my own research project whilst there which explored how culture influences sex education in Ghana. I carried out interviews and led focus groups in order to provide comprehensive qualitative data that I used for my final year dissertation and was awarded a first class mark.

Designing and conducting my own research in a professional setting, as well as facilitating other projects through the medium of research has offered me an extensive variety of skills and experience. It has also steered my interests specifically towards research and advocating policy within a development setting.

Developing The Kids' Fund

The Kids’ Fund aims to provide access to education for children who are living in poverty and otherwise would not be attending school. The original beneficiaries were five year old twin boys Bernard and Benjamin. Since the implementation of the project, the organisation has extended its reach and diversified by adding a t-shirt initiative in order to raise the profile and money for The Kids’ Fund.

I raised a total of £2,700 for The Kids’ Fund in the first few months of the project's conceptualisation and I continue to do fundraising activities in the UK for the project. The money is held in a no-risk investment account that continues to provide dividends that the organisation distributes across the range of projects it works on.

The development of this initiative as well as the research I conducted added to the organisation's profile and I continue to advertise the organisation and its work at fundraising events.

AFAWI was pleased to receive the write up of my dissertation and continues to use the research design in order to build upon the findings.

‘Designing and conducting my own research in a professional setting has offered me an extensive variety of skills and experience.’
Charlie Young