Monday, 27 February 2017

Living on a prayer!

Yes, it’s true: we’re halfway there! It’s been a crazy 6 weeks and as we look back on it we cannot believe how much time has flown. It’s getting hotter by the day and power cuts are becoming more frequent (difficult when we’re in the office with no Wi-Fi) but we’re soldiering on! We are missing home terribly but are so excited to see what the next few weeks have planned for us – especially with all the visits to various NGOs and organisations we have planned.

Guided learning is a crucial part to our ICS journey, and it certainly should not be dismissed because with a dash of creativity and a pinch of intuition there are a whole bunch of fantastic places you can visit. We have already been to SOS Children’s Village where we learnt about how they take in children who are orphaned or abandoned and how they care for them within their own little community. We also visited BasicNeeds Ghana – a mental health advocacy organisation aiming to improve the livelihoods of those suffering from mental illness/epilepsy and to tackle the stigma attached to it. From these visits, we have learnt so much - not only about Ghana and the organisations but about ourselves and how we can strive to make our world a better place.

The team meeting with BasicNeeds before they gave us a presentation on the work they do across Ghana

Last Friday we had our mid-term event, where all the teams here in Tamale met up with teams Tolon and Savelugu in a lovely community centre in Kumbungu. We played various ice-breakers (how else to energise before the day) that proved quite difficult with 50 odd people! We all had the opportunity to catch up on how our projects are going with some very interactive activities; it helped us all see the positive impact we’ve had so far and the not so great things that could do with some improvement. Luckily for team ABC there were more positives than negatives!

With some old school tunes being sung around the office, we’ve been able to keep the morale up as we try to fill up our calendar as much as possible and keep up all our hard work.

The team ready to start the community sensitisation in Dungu
On Thursday, we had our first community sensitisation in Dungu which was a great success. The community was very receptive and thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful speech given by Jack and translated by Yussif, in which they discussed the importance of educating women and the positive impacts it can have on the community. And you can’t go wrong when you end it on such a powerful note as “when you educate a woman; you educate a nation”.

Jack and Yussif giving their speech to the community members of Dungu

However, I have to say the best part was dancing to the Azonto (an absolute must to learn when in Ghana) next to a huge sound system with dozens of children from the community. I think I speak for the whole team when I say we definitely got shown up by a quite a few 6-10 year olds. Nevertheless, we had fun and hopefully made an impact in the process.

The children of Dungu being very active and enthusiastic whilst dancing to the loud music playing from the speakers!

Now to look forward to what the next month and a bit has planned for us, hoping it doesn’t go as fast as the last 6/7 weeks have!

Claudia White

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