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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Goodbye Silminga + Gbansabinli

Nice to meet ya! 


Where have the last three months gone? After 13 weeks of being here in Ghana I have found myself a new home, new friends and a new family. Being part of ICS has been an incredible experience. You have the opportunity to make an impact on peoples lives but also those very same people impact your life in more ways than you could have imagined. 

I am honestly leaving a part of my heart in Ghana. Thank you for teaching us how to enjoy and embrance every moment, teaching us to value what we have and to never give up when it comes to Creating Change. We as a Create Change team would like to say a massive thank you. This is not a goodbye, it's a see ya later! 

As we reach the end of our placement as cohort 5 we've taken some time to reflect on our ICS experience...



Team Leaders
Name: Dani Simkins



Favourite memory of your time in Ghana: My favourite memory has to be our visit to a local shea butter factory and water processing plant. It was a great chance to bond as a team and just enjoy our time together. What can beat a little sing-song in the sun with a lovely bunch of colleagues who've become family?
What you've learnt whilst being here about yourself? I have learnt what is most important to me; kindness and happiness. 
What you've learnt through your work at Create Change? Through 6 months working with Create Change it has been fantastic to see how they are working to provide opportunities, support and hope to girls in their education. I will be a lifelong advocate for sure!
Who inspired you the most since being here? I have had so many people inspire me in different ways: from my hilarious and hard working counterpart Latif, to my smiling team with their sunny disposition, to the hard-working and dedicated Create Change staff and interns who work tirelessly day after day. 
Most challenging you've experienced here and how you handled it: As a team leader, I've had over 40 hospital visits with different volunteers over the 6 months have been challenging for sure. But bright side; lots of waiting around means lots of interesting books to read.

Name: Braimah Abdul Latif



What you've learnt whilst being here about yourself? Little do I know that my greatest strength is my character, in every moment of my life I always try to show positivity to known and unknown people irrespective of their colour, background, education, age and more.
What you've learnt through your work at Create Change? Development as we think is brought to bear by Create Change, their striving to elevate poverty amount of the youth and building on the strength and potential of children through sponsorship, literacy classes and community girls club. 
What you've learnt through your work at Create Change? It is a blessing to have a lovely, pretty, charming and courageous counter-part UKV team leader Dani - who sees your worries, suffering and challenges as hers and always gives you the inspiration to keep on track. Above all she was also co-op-operative to ideas and being consultative before decisions are made. 
Most challenging you've experienced here and how you handled it: Sending volunteers to the hospital.

Volunteers
Name: Beth Moore


Favourite memory of your time in Ghana: First day swimming. Actually feeling cool! Also first time we have connected as a team outside of work.
What you've learnt whilst being here about yourself? I've learnt that I can be independent, doing work to set deadlines. I can also be organised an can hold my own disputes. 
What you've learnt through your work at Create Change? I've learnt the challenges girls face in education. It makes me feel guilty because I didn't appreciate my time at school or university.
Who inspired you the most since being here? Madame Huzeima - from being a sponsored girl herself to programme officer for Create Change. She is a strong independent woman with a passion for creating leaders. 
Most challenging you've experienced here and how you handled it: Gastroentiritus

Name: Samuel Boateng Osei



Favourite memory of your time in Ghana: The wonderful Monday the team had a joint party to celebrate 3 of its members including me. I felt so loved and had greater sense of belonging to the ABC Team. I will never and ever in my life forget that monday 28/11/16.
What you've learnt whilst being here about yourself? I usually write when I am alone or feeling bored. The day I published one of my blogs my friends told me I was very creative in my piece and should consider to be a blogger. I will start blogging on my own ASAP.
What you've learnt through your work at Create Change? I have come to believe that through our colloborative efforts, we can support and promote the Sustainable Development Goal number 5 'gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls'.
Who inspired you the most since being here? My host dad, Mr. Majeed Bawa, is one of the pioneer team leaders of the ICS program and has been the longest serving assessor International Service has ever had in Ghana. He always encourages me to return to the program as a team leader to help others. 
Most challenging you've experienced here and how you handled it: The pressure and tension the very first time I spoke on a radio station through ICS program. However I managed to speak well without quivering and babbling. I have improved my communication skills through ICS.

Name: Vikki Stafford



Favourite memory of your time in Ghana: There are so many fond memories, its hard to pick just one.. One memory is after work we all sat down to watch the movie Frozen, for many of the ICV's it was their first time watching the movie and their reactions were priceless! After we all sang along to Let it go, Karoke style, at the top of our voices, needless to say none of us are a Celione Dion!
What you've learnt whilst being here about yourself? I have learnt that I would love to become more involved in charity work, especially regarding international development and endeavour to work with a local charity back in the UK.
What you've learnt through your work at Create Change? It was great to work alongside the NGO Create Change and get the opportunity to see why the organisation is necessary for young girls in the northern region. It taught me that many young girls require support and guidance throughout their education, as well as the importance of ensuring that parents understanding the necessity of taking an interest in their childs education.
Who inspired you the most since being here? The young girls who attended the girls club we ran, both in the rural communities and in the various Senior High Schools, were all asked what their career aspirations were. It was inspiring to hear a variety of choices, ranging from an accountant, nurse, police offer etc. Despite challenges that the girls may face they were all ambitious in their aspirations.
Most challenging you've experienced here and how you handled it: Although 3 months flies by, living away from home can at times prove challenging, especially when you are not feeling to grand at 3am and all you want is some home comforts! But soon you adapt to the new surroundings, learn to love the way of life, and take each day as it comes. 

Name: Enning K.K. Louis



Favourite memory of your time in Ghana: Surprise party that was organized for me after my secret graduation ceremony. I didn't inform the family, but instead of them being angry with me they welcomed me into the office in a grand style. I don't think I will forget that day for my entire life.
What you've learnt whilst being here about yourself? That working in a group always brings the best out of you and also gives you the opportunity to learn new things from others. I have also realized I love teaching thorugh the Girls Clubs and training events I have run.
What you've learnt through your work at Create Change? It takes conscious effort from individuals with a good heart to make the world a better place for us. No matter your colour, age, educational background, origin or financial status you can be part and play an instrumental role in the nation building process.
Who inspired you the most since being here? All the UKV's inspired me a lot. If others have left their country and comfort zone to develop my country the I have no option than to give out my best in this project.
Most challenging you've experienced here and how you handled it: I had poor communication skills, especially communicating with strangers, but with the help of lovely family here at Create Change I was able to overcome it. I accepted it as a challenge and made it known to the family. This made it easy for me to learn communication skills and do away with shyness. 

Name: Farida Nurbhai



Favourite memory of your time in Ghana: My favourite memory was when we held the community girls club and held a class on self-confidence. It was so inspiring to see girls so young have so much confidence despite adversity they have faced. It was so fun just laughing and enjoying the day with the girls. 
What you've learnt whilst being here about yourself? I have learnt that leaving your comfort zone is the only way to grow and develop. There's no better feeling than taking on an unfamiliar territory and making it familiar. I'm also a worrier, I worry about everything and anything and i've learnt to just enjoy the moment and things eventually fall into place.
What you've learnt through your work at Create Change? Education is a human right and not a necessity. I've learn't that back home we are truly blessed to have the access we do to education and that Create Change organisation really strive to gain access for girl child education.
Who inspired you the most since being here? Without a doubt my host mum inspired me the most. She is a strong independent women and a single mother of three. She taught me how to live life to the fullest, smile in the darkest of days and that no matter what life hits you with you get back on your feet and keep on dreaming and believing. 
Most challenging you've experienced here and how you handled it: The most challenging experience was having to be admitted into hospital for a couple of days. It was difficult to be in completely new environment with no family around. However I was lucky to have some of my new family here to really take care of me - my host mum and my team and my leaders.

Name: Alhassan Washiru



Favourite memory of your time in Ghana: I have learnt how to use the computer well and to work cross-culturally. I have also noticed that one person can do just a bit, but in a group you can do better.
What you've learnt whilst being here about yourself? I have learnt that I can do more than what I expect of myself. I now know that I can work under any circumstances even with limited resources.
What you've learnt through your work at Create Change? What Create Change taught me is that one person can not do it all unless in a group. Through team work our cohort has been able to be one of the best cohort Create Change has ever had.
Who inspired you the most since being here? My team leader Dani inspired me a lot.
Most challenging you've experienced here and how you handled it: The most challenging was when our radio station didn't come on after we done all the necessary preparations. I handled it by informing everyone that it is due to the elections and everyone understood.

Name: Jack Westcott

Favourite memory of your time in Ghana: Our first sensitization in Kulaa, the day was full of smiles and laughter and the atmosphere was incredible. The best thing about being the Photographer is the fact that you can stand back and see everyone’s smiles. The pictures are one thing, but being there first hand and seeing it all, right in front of you is a complete other. The best part of it all... is definitely the children’s smiles. 
What you've learnt whilst being here about yourself? My time in Ghana has given me the chance to learn a lot about myself. You come to realise both your strengths and weaknesses. Choosing only one attribute I’ve noticed about myself is difficult, but one I’ve been witnessing is my ability to not give up. I have found myself push through water shortages, scarce food and almost hostile atmospheric conditions (damn coughs). 
What you've learnt through your work at Create Change?  I will forever respect the children more than anyone, who make do with next to nothing, my experience could never be compared to theirs, but I’ve certainly been through more than I’ve ever been through before. 
Who inspired you the most since being here?  Many people, if not the majority have been very inspirational in their own ways over here. But one I would find difficult to forget is my host home partner Tony. Many people have their own opinions about Tony, but the majority of them do not know him enough, what he strives for, is to help others, and his ability to give a lot of his own to help them is unforgettable, he’s a very inspirational man, and I will always keep his perseverance in mind.
Most challenging you've experienced here and how you handled it:. One experience that will forever protrude in my timeline, was when I fell ill in the first week. I am still unsure of what actually afflicted me after getting diagnosed with Malaria and then re-diagnosed with Gastro Enteritis.But I would do it all again if I was given the opportunity.

From all at Create Change ABC, we're so grateful to Create Change and International Service for this opportunity. 


It's been an incredible 3 months full of learning, dancing, bonding, working together and making an impact. We've become not just colleagues and friends, but a family as well and we will never forget our time together and all that we've done. 

Thank you- it's been a blast!

Written by: Team ABC Create Change
Edited by: Farida Nurbhai and Danielle Simkins

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