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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Syvia's Creating Change



It all started in Tamale with a great experience working with Create Change, it has given me the opportunity to meet new people from different places and learn new things. International Service has given me the opportunity to explore different communities and with Create Change I am also now starting to learn basic Dagbani.

On the 13th October 2015, we went to a community in Tamale called Dungu for data collection, it was so amazing, was so sad that I was not able to speak Dagbani, I felt bad because, being Ghanaian, and from Upper east Bolgatanga, which is not far from Northern Region Tamale, I had no option to learn, but luckily we went with some of the interns from the Create Change office, who were Dagbani speakers, and we were asked to go into groups, one Dagbani speaker and one non-Dagbani speaker. We went there at the appropriate time. We met the parents and we had interviews with them on sending their children to school, why they are not in school, and finally to the school, to ask the teachers about the children’s education and if there has been an increase or decrease in the girl child education, and the challenges in the school and we further went on and taught them how to use pure water sachets to make football nets and we gave them time to make the net. After the school we went back to our various host homes, then the next day we went back to the office and made the necessary preparation for the next community called Damankunyili.

Damankunyili is a small community in Tamale which most of the people are into farming and some are into shea butter making. The people of Damankunyili are very respectful. One reason why I like the people of Damankunyili is that they respect each and every one no matter how small you are they give you respect. As before we were there with Create Change to collect data as a team went into the community as usual in our groups of Dagbani speakers and non Dagbani speakers entered into each house and asked the parents about their children’s education. When we found children out of school we asked why they were not in school, and we later proceeded to the school to speak to teachers about the children’s education and if there is any increase or decrease in girl child education.

Finally into a community called Wayamba, which was quite different from the other communities in terms of education. We did our usual thing as we did in the other communities but one funny thing that I will never forget is that we asked a parent if they have a School Management Committee and he said no! He said there is a P.O.P, so I was wondering what this was until his daughter came out and said it’s not P.O.P but it’s P.T.A and P.T.A stands for Parent Teacher Association, so I said to myself this is the power of education, and a different parent from another house said the S.M.C cook for the children in school and I made him understand that S.M.C don’t cook for them but they manage the school. It’s worrying that they do not all know what work the S.M.C actually do, when they sometimes charge fees that they demand must be paid in order for the children to be allowed to attend school. (Let’s not forget that schooling is officially free for primary and junior high school children…)

In the school we did a demonstration to the children on how to make volleyball and football nets from pure water sachets. We attached a few of the sachets together, explaining what we were doing, and then we would call for volunteers from the class to try and attach other sachets. We told the class and their teacher that we would leave them the scissors and come back in a few weeks to see how well they were doing. If they will have finished we will bring them a ball and help them to set up the court. This activity works on several levels. Firstly, the children will hopefully want to make the nets as soon as possible, so they will be searching for empty pure water sachets in their communities, meaning that they would be cleaning up some litter in their villages. Secondly, it teaches them about recycling and flexibility; just because the original use of an item has been exhausted, it does not mean that that item cannot have a second function. And finally, it encourages teamwork – in terms of working together to make something that is useful for them and that they can be proud of, and teamwork when they will actually play the sport.

After the community on my way back to my host home I saw a woman with two sets of twins, two boys and two girls, they were so nice and the woman was a beggar, the point where I felt very sad was that they were all sitting down and I also like twins so much I decided to give them money, so when I did the woman said ‘thank you and may god bless you,’ the woman got up and one of them wanted to follow, it was one of the girls, the sad part was that the twin who wanted to follow was disabled and could not walk. I can only hope that this woman will be able to send her children to school so that they are able to build a brighter future for themselves.  

SYVIA ADONGO 
ICV

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