Profile: Elyse Golian and Ashley Hassard

BRESCIA BOLD in Africa with Project: Ghana

By student intern Paige Ackerman

In May two Brescia students, Elyse Golian and Ashley Hassard, along with four other students from Western and the University of Toronto, will be embarking on the humanitarian trip of a life time. These six ladies, with the help and guidance of International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ), will be teaching English in an underfunded school in Frankadua, Ghana.

Their initiative, aptly named ‘Project: Ghana,’ will profoundly impact the 250 students who attend the local school. Through sharing their time and their unique talents, Elyse and Ashley will not only brighten the lives of these underprivileged children but they will also demonstrate to the world what it means to be Brescia Bold.

“Having an impact both locally and globally is what ‘Project: Ghana’ is all about,” says Ashley. “We hope our efforts empower other Canadian youth to think big, think global.”

Through the generous support from all who have donated and after months of hard work, the girls are excited to finally see their dedication pay off. ‘Project: Ghana 2012’ will be the culmination of Elyse’s honours Community Development project – the first in Brescia history — and with Ashley’s sociological background, we are optimistic as to the scope of impact these inspirational young women will have on Frankadua as well as on their peers back home.

When asked why they chose the West African nation of Ghana, the girls replied, “Ghana is particularly receptive to international volunteer initiatives compared to other countries in Africa. There has been so much great work already done, and we are so excited to do our part.”

Although Ghana is an English-speaking nation, many children can’t communicate at an effective level due to the extreme shortage of qualified educators available to them. The efforts of these six young women will surely mean the world to the IVHQ workers who are stationed in Ghana as well as the Ghanaian people themselves.

If you are interested in ‘Project: Ghana’ and want to follow the girls’ efforts while they are away, check out their personal blog at