Monday, 8 February 2016

A Taste of Rural Ghana: Our Community Entry

We are continuing to make our International Citizen Service programme with Create Change successful. Our cohort, in partnership with Create Change started a journey to the working communities to familiarize ourselves with the community members. It was very interesting on the part of the UKV and the ICV to have their first-time travel experience to rural northern Ghana.The journey started around 9.00am on the 27th of January, 2016.  
The team began our journey using three rental taxis as our means of transport to our working communities to do our first community entry. It involved going to the communities to know and familiarize ourselves with the community members. The road leading to Yapala was very good. It took about 1 hour to get from our office to Yapala community. The head teacher of Yapala primary school and the other teachers received us on behalf of the Yapala community members.  We had interaction with the teachers and the students as well. The children and the teachers were excited to see us in the community.
We were made to feel a part of the community. Our presence in the community was to help them as far as the community development needs is concerned. We visited the leaders of the community and Madame Mary on behalf of Create Change and International Service and spoke the local language (Dagbani) to them. As the people’s tradition demands people squatting down when extending greetings, and pleasantries to the leaders. In which it was a little bit difficult for us. Madame Mary introduced us to the community leaders by beginning the greetings “dasiba (good morning) and the response was”N naa” (good morning). She told them of our reason for coming into the community in which they could not hide their excitement in dagbani and did the English translation to the team members.
We took off from Yapala to around 11.30am and Tichelle to do our next community visit on same day. We had a similar experience in Tichelle as we had in Yapala community. We continue on the next day to our third community. The journey started at around 9.00am as  scheduled to Kpundugli and arrived at the community exactly 10.30am. The road was very bad to travel on and very dusty.
The head teacher of the community went and to the wulana (the chief servant) to inform the chief of our arrival. The head teacher spoke to the wulana on behalf of us and the wulana informed the chief of the reason of our visit. I myself on behalf of ICS and Create Change spoke to the community members of our intention to visit and work with them in the community.
As we began our familiarization with the community members and the ICS team, we went inside the house to greet the women. “As is customary, the women offered us some drinking water to drink. We were shocked to discover it was unclean-it was brown and had not been purified”. We asked of their source of water. They often fetched the water from a pit dug purposely for making bricks in construction of houses and that in rainy season rain water collected in the pit.

They fetched the water to use in their household activities such as cooking and bathing. Evidently, the water they used was not sanitary and can easily cause water borne diseases in communities like this. Create Change have intervened to provide a rain harvesting water tank to remedy this problem and promised to do more in the future.  The community leaders and their members were excited and bid us a good farewell.

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