Innovation and Impact: Past Projects

Sustainable Volunteering

Project Description

For Winter Term, we will lead a group of 8 Oberlin students on a service-oriented trip to Ghana to work with the organization Sankofa Mbofra Fie (, an orphanage and school. Sankofa Mbofra Fie exemplifies what “development” and “community service” should entail because it is staffed entirely by Ghanaians and implemented at the grassroots level. While we are there, we will work with the director on capacity building and will provide supplemental education and mentoring to the students at Sankofa School. Our focus will be to develop framework for how we can make our work sustainable and lead to the creation of more infrastructure for Sankofa Mbofra Fie. The project will include cultural immersion learning opportunities for Oberlin participants, and will build the foundation for future Oberlin students to volunteer effectively in Ghana.

About Sarah Frank, Elizabeth Woodbury, Rebecca Balmer

Sarah Frank is a senior Theater major with a minor in Sociology. She is particularly interested in the intersections of theater, education, and health. She works at the Center for Leadership in Health Promotion (CLHP) and does educational programming both on and off campus related to specific health issues and community wellness. She also directs student theater projects and will be working on her own thesis project in March. Sarah spent Spring 2008 in Ghana with the School for International Training and spent six weeks volunteering at Sankofa Mbofra Fie in May and June of 2008.

Elizabeth Woodbury is a fourth year theater major, from Bucks County PA. Recently, she was a cast member of Oberlin College’s groundbreaking production of Arthur Miller’s, “Death of a Salesman” with guest artist, Avery Brooks. She is currently working on an original one-woman show, which she will perform in December. Elizabeth works for the Center for Leadership in Health Promotion (CLHP), with programs both in and around Oberlin’s campus, using theater as an educational and outreach tool. She is also a teaching assistant for the college’s Theater 101 class. Liz is particularly interested in working with youth and using theater as a means for social education and empowerment.

Rebecca Balmer is a senior double-majoring in theater and comparative literature. She works in the Theater and Dance Program Publicity Office and often performs in plays on campus, including the upcoming production Aunt Dan and Lemon. She has experience working with children as a theater teacher in her hometown, Portland, Oregon. Rebecca spent the Spring of 2008 studying in Paris with Sarah Lawrence College.