YBN Students with Eric Holder


Many YBN students have never ventured beyond their respective communities. With the majority being low-income, busy supporting their families, and focused on achieving their educational and workforce goals, having the opportunity to explore other cultures is often a costly luxury. But on June 28th, YBN students found themselves over 5,000 miles away in Ghana – through a live video exchange at O’ia-da International’s Akoma Ntoso Cultural Center.


YBN students and students enrolled at a private school in Cape Coast – one of Ghana’s most historical cities – made small work of painting a picture of their everyday lives. Each group talked about where they shop, eat, and have fun, and the similarities and differences in their individual cultures. YBN students were also treated to a song and dance performance that allowed them to witness, firsthand, the vibrancy of Ghanaian culture.

Ghanaian Performance

In their reflections, YBN students shared their new perspectives on African culture. Anthony Green wrote, “It gave me an eye opening look at…how we judge one another by what we see on television, and what we hear. But it pretty much seems like we live…alike in many ways, but in different countries. They pretty much have the same kind of life styles we live, but they really move strong as a community and they really value what they have.” Hadiyyah Muse expressed a similar sentiment. “I learned a lot about the people in Ghana. I will never think differently about another country just because somebody says it.” YBN students got the chance to cross cultural borders – without ever having to leave “Brick City.”


O’ia-da International, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that utilizes state of the art videoconferencing technology to connect students with students in Africa.