Friday, 25 July 2014

Video didn't kill the radio star...

A word from our Team Leader:

Nat at Kesmi FM testing the headphones out
Hi everyone, thank you for reading our blog! It has been a very busy week for us…we have refined our literacy testing tool, conducted interviews, planned and (almost) created a video, took part in a one hour radio show (please search online for Kesmi FM Tamale if you want to hear it!) and concocted a report on the ways ICS and International Service can further support the Yumba School.
It might seem a bit hectic, as I sure thought yesterday after leaving the radio session halfway through. From there I met the main Imam in Tamale and his council of elders in order to arrange their promotion of Create Change during their next Sala (lunar month) prayers. After testing out my very (very) basic Dagbani and Arabic (hopefully not making a fool of myself along the way) we left with a positive response and proceeded to join the rest of the group, as well as our Disability Resource Centre colleagues in some training on how to teach children to pronounce phonetics (which was hilarious) and plan literacy lessons…all in a day’s work!

However, one thing that I have not said so far is that I am incredibly proud of how my team have worked, being extremely motivated, funny and working cohesively as if they had known each other most of their lives. Personally I cannot wait for next week, when we are actually starting our sojourn into the schools...more info to come!

Eid Mubarak in advance,


Now...let's hear it from the teams!

The Social Media Team
Hi, it's Jade here from the Social Media Team. Myself, Damba, Fatima, Nii and Sowa are looking forward to beginning the main 'Summer School' project next week, but for now have been very busy working on our 'Social Media' project.
Jade with one of the butchers at the Main Butcher House, Tamale

First of all, we have been making a video detailing the day-to-day practices of the butcher houses in Tamale, using all of the information/photos/video footage we collected last week. Nii and Sowa focused on this aspect to begin with, whilst Fatima and I returned to the butcher houses to collect further photographs and video footage...for the second time in as many weeks I had to peel off a piece of meat that had flown through the air and landed on my arm whilst concealing my disgust!!

Secondly, we interviewed members of the public about their views on how meat is currently treated in Tamale, and asked them whether they'd be interested in a new and more hygienic butcher shop opening in Tamale. With a little help from Hardi (Yumba School Team) we also interviewed local businesses, hotels, restaurants etc. on similar topics. This is important research for Create Change (CC) to have in order for their butcher shop business to be successful.

Earlier in the week the fundraising team were lucky enough to secure an hour long slot with a local radio station - Kesmi FM. We went there on Thursday morning to speak about CC's mission/aims/objectives, as well as it's individual projects. As part of this, I was invited to speak for a few minutes about CC's vision for their future social enterprise projects, i.e. the butcher shop, to enable them to become 100% self-sufficient, and to rely less on the generosity of donations. It was a great opportunity to spread the news of CC's fantastic work, and we are very grateful to Kesmi for allowing us the chance to do so.

Finally, on Thursday afternoon we had some literacy teacher training, which involved wild hand gestures, monotonous repetition of sounds, and writing down what seemed to be the 483 steps on how to teach phonetics!

The Fundraising Team

Hi, Zarouk is my name and I am a national volunteer in Ghana. My teammates are Pooja, who is an international volunteer from the UK, Alhassan and Ishaw who are also national volunteers from Ghana just like me. I would like to share with you what we, the Fundraising Team, have been doing this week.

On Monday we had a meeting with Kesmi FM, a local radio station, to arrange some airtime with them. We hoped that they would enable us to set out our plans to the general public about our short code idea; whereby members of the public can donate to Create Change (CC) via text. We also asked for the chance to portray CC's other projects, including, the rural schools, sponsorship of students, rainwater collecting tanks and social enterprise schemes. Believe it or not they gave us a full hour to do so! We were so surprised! After we returned from their offices we also created a fundraising poster.

On Tuesday, we decided to go about writing the proposal for the teletext/shortcode idea we had and which we are hoping to conquer. It is difficult for us to do, but we decided to do what we can and leave what we cannot to CC to complete.

Create Change officials meeting with the Fundraising Team
to discuss Kesmi FM
On Wednesday, we decided to come together with CC officials to discuss our talk at the radio station. It was agreed that we should go along with some teachers from rural schools, as well as some sponsored students, in order to show how Create Change has impacted their lives and the community positively. We decided on this because we want the general public to feel that we are actually creating change in people’s lives locally.

On Thursday, we went met with them all at Kesmi FM to do the radio presentation. Jade (Social Media Team) and Nat (Team Leader) also came along. We spoke about International Service and Create Change so as to raise awareness of both organisations amongst the people, as well as the hard work they have been doing in the community. The radio presentation also served as a platform for us to tell people to donate through the tele-text idea we are working on. People called in to give us words of encouragement and to ask us to extend our territories to other nearby regions. Trust me when I say that it was lovely!

The Yumba School Team

I’m called Jamal - please call me Jay! I work with fellow national volunteers Bawah, Hardi and Sala as well as Ben, who is an international volunteer. Unfortunately, it’s our second and last week at the Yumba School for children with disabilities!

Jamal with some of the Yumba School pupils
Most of the Yumba students that were at the regional Olympic Games for Children with Disabilities arrived from Kumasi on Monday morning, bursting with the excitement of good news – they won lots of prizes there, including teaching and learning materials.

Two of the children emerged winners: Alhassan and Ibrahim. The organisers selected them to take part in next year’s Olympic Games for children with disabilities in the USA. Both teachers and students concluded that it had been a challenging but rewarding experience.

On the Tuesday morning, the children cleaned the school compound and their various classrooms under the supervision of the school prefect. Lessons that day focused on communication, and the vocational class had their end of term examination.

Later, environmental hygiene officials came to the school to teach the children about personal hygiene health issues. The children were asked to retrieve what they were taught at their previous meeting. Their response was marvellous because they were able to remember the impact and consequences of living in an unhygienic manner, including the illnesses that derive from that. 

On the last day we were there, the children were not served breakfast as they usually are. The assistant headmistress (Madam Mildred) said it was due to the financial constraints the Yumba School is currently facing. That was one of the reasons the school would be vacated that day instead of the day after, like it had originally been planned. I was lucky that lunch was still served that day, because some parents don’t give or prepare breakfast for their children, believing they will have it at school.

As mentioned previously, Yumba School provides vocational classes in order to allow the pupils some sort of autonomy. We visited one of these classes, which tackled how to make a doormat. Later we had a visit from our colleagues from the Disability Resource Centre – they did disability sensitisation activities with the children.

On behalf of the headmistress Madam Mildred, she thanks ICS, our team leader (Nat) and all of us for our support and assistance. She said that brief though our stay had been, we had impacted the students positively and that they are ever-ready to open their school doors for us any-time.
We thanked the school authority and the students for having us in their midst. We have learnt so much. Thank you, Yumba School!

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