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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

ICS JOURNEY WITH MUTALA




Since infancy I have always been told the there are three (3) basic degrees of knowledge, and that it is never possible to gain a complete understanding of any process, event, action/inaction, person or group of people, in fact anything in the world without passing through all the stages of knowledge: the knowledge of hearing, seeing and experience. The irony has always been that I never believed in that philosophy.  I have almost always thought that, at most, two of the ideal stages are enough for a valid conclusion of facts about many things in this rather unpredictable evolving globe. Interestingly, I have had every reason to change my opinion just in a matter of weeks. Loyalists, I hope that you read below the adventures of our greater team.

MUTALA YAHAYA (MY)
Volunteering, for all my past life, has been viewed as an act/effort by an individual to help better the life and living conditions of the vulnerable in society. It has been viewed as a sacrificial process involving only giving without receiving, probably expecting a reward from the creator in the Hereafter by the religiously inclined beings. However, atheists are also involved in this philanthropic act of volunteering, which I found difficult comprehending. This provoked me to look at volunteering with a different lens and finally found it completely astonishingly rewarding even in this world. 
Week 4 began rather on a slow note on Monday the 6th day of July 2015, but gradually became the busiest week since we started. Monday was full of planning and putting our final pieces together on the Career Guidance Resource Pack intended to help guide the Create Change Interns in choosing the right courses and jobs in the future.

On Tuesday, we continued with the construction of a football net aimed to be donated to a yet-to-identified school in the Tamale Metropolis. This keeps us busy unlike the paper work. A lot of planning was still ongoing as we awaited the approval of our request to visit Taha for Baseline /Action Research on the Importance of Education. A Risk Assessment of the Taha Community was also done by our enthused team.

On 8th July 2015, the team came to work and, within the day, the much awaited approval was done. Not delaying further, the group led by the able TL quickly came together and thoroughly discussed what needed to be done on the scheduled day for the Research (9th July, 2015).  It was unanimously agreed that each UKV be paired with an ICV who understands Dagbani for effective administration of the questionnaires. Happily and expectedly, everyone accepted the notion of counterparts, and the day ended with many expectant faces that were obviously ready to hit the ground working. Further, the group agreed that everyone (including the Create Change Interns who agreed to aid in the administration) be available in the Community by 7:00am to aid the meeting of parents who would obviously be absent if we didn’t get there early.  The day then ended on this brighter note.

Thursday was a day of action, and by 7:00am all of us had arrived at the Taha government School poised for action after many days/weeks of planning and paperwork. We first visited the Chief’s Palace to inform the Chief and his elders of our arrival. Then after, each pair moved the assigned locations with the given questionnaires. Off to the houses, shops and every place in which people live was the approach for Parents and Children Not In School. Concurrently, the TL assisted by an Intern, went back to the school to administer the questionnaires for students and teachers, not exempting the head teachers. In a matter of hours, the team gradually but certainly converged at the school premises after the day’s hard work.

Interesting and exciting, right? As if that was not enough, we were back in the office on Friday 10th July, 2015 to put together the findings from the research. The data recording and analysis started, without forgetting to make request for the ICT training. Lo and behold, the day ended on promising note but admittedly, as expected, we could not finish with the data recording and analysis and intend to continue come.

Fellows, what did we realize? Personally and collectively, a lot of perceptions and misconceptions changed. It was this adventure that made me now realize and accept the inevitable fact of the three degrees of Knowledge. My knowledge was never complete, so assumptions were flawed. I never imagined the possibility of gaining tremendously in volunteering. At least we have been and are still being personally developed.
We have heard,
We have seen and
We have experienced.
What of you?

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