Refugees & Conflict Resolution In Ghana

A project sponsored by the American Public University System
Displaced Dagombans
Refugees from Togo
In July 2009, I travelled to Ghana to document the stories of refugees and peacekeepers and developed this website to share with others what I experienced. On this site, you will find the stories of two Dagomban refugees who escaped intratribal fighting in northern Ghana and now live in southern Ghana in crushing poverty, yet welcomed me with warmth and kindness. You can listen to conversations with Togolese refugees, who escaped civil unrest and violence and resettled in Ghana, where the lack of jobs has forced a family of fifteen to live in one room. You will also hear the experiences of two former Ghanaian military members who served as part of UN peacekeeping missions in Rwanda, Lebanon, and Liberia and despite witnessing unimaginable atrocities, are somehow able be optimistic and hopeful. Finally, I have included a section about Cape Coast Castle - the most horrible place I have ever visited. For three centuries, this castle housed countless Africans, who were enslaved, tortured, and transported to the New World. It is a place of unimaginable horrors and for that reason it must be remembered.
struggling to survive in a new land
refugees in their own country
Cape Coast Castle
There are more than 40 million displaced people in the world today. The plight of refugees is a terrible and heartbreaking situation found across the globe. I hope this project will help us gain a better understanding of the incredible challenges faced by refugees. I also have tried to demonstrate in this project the amazing resilience of humans in the face of violence and poverty as exemplified by the extraordinary work done by compassionate and dedicated people like Moses Emerson (pictured right), who founded a school that provides an excellent education to disadvantaged children in his community. It is only through love, compassion, understanding and hard work can we address the many problems we currently face and bring peace and prosperity to the millions of people suffering through war, violence and displacement. We must teach ourselves how to create a better life for all.
Ghanaian Peacekeepers
unimaginable pain and suffering finding hope in an uncertain world
Words cannot express my deep gratitude to all those who participated in this project. Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity!
Cathy Silverman specializes in the research and preservation of indigenous music and religion. She earned a B.A. in International Affairs from Mary Washington College and an M.F.A. in Music from California Institute of the Arts where she worked and collaborated with musicians and artists from around the world including Indonesia, Africa, Siberia, and India. She is a past grant-recipient of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. and the American Public University System. Cathy is also the co-founder of the Nada Brahma Foundation, whose projects have included research and documentation in Mexico, Guatemala, the Hopi reservation in Arizona, Ghana, and Indonesia. A variety of DVDs and CDs have been produced from this work. Cathy has led many cultural tours to Bali, Indonesia, where students learn about Bali-Hindu culture and religion. She is an Assistant Professor at American Public University, where she teaches music, mythology and ritual. She is currently working with the Mbangba Cultural Troupe led by renowned Dagomban dancer and musician Sulley Imoro and developing a variety of micro-loan projects in Ghana, Africa.
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the American Public University System for supporting this project through a faculty research grant. It is wonderful to be able to share my experiences in Ghana with students at our school.
This project is also part of my work at the Nada Brahma Foundation, an organization dedicated to the research and preservation of indigenous culture.