Thursday, 2 November 2017

Youth Confidence Sensitisation


In our third week on placement we had our first sensitisation to host within the local Navrongo communities. The topic we all decided to talk about was Youth Confidence. We visited four JHS’s (Junior High School) with our groups that we had been split into. There were two groups of four with both groups containing two UK volunteers and two Ghanaian volunteers.

We started our preparations with group discussions and reading through old reports from previous volunteers. We talked about all the positives that we could take inspirations from as well as looking out for things that maybe lacked; furthermore what we could incorporate into our future sensitisation's. We then discussed ideas we should present to the students. We needed to educate them
 on the basic fundamentals of what is meant by Youth Confidence and encouraging them to share their opinions on issues that affected their lives right now. Our presentation took inspiration from the works from those of the past as well as incorporating our own ideas and activities.

While the rest of us worked on other tasks, Cameron created a well-structured script that was easy to follow and had everything that we wanted to deliver to our audience. We didn’t want it to be a sensitisation where we were just flooding the kids with information. We wanted a fun but constructive interactive session where the children could be physically involved themselves. Our activities would help to develop skills such as communication, self confidence and team building.

The Sensitisation:

We set off as a whole group for the sensitisations. Both teams were dropped off at their first schools for the first sensitisation.  I think our immediate reaction when we got to the school was the shock of how many students we would be presenting to. I had estimated in my head that we would be talking to about 25-30 students so to see about 50-60 students staring at us as we entered in was a bit of a surprise.

Narian and I would present to the first group of children. The sensitisation began with Nana introducing us volunteers and introducing the organisation that we represented. I knew instantly that
the language barrier might be a bit of a setback for me, so I had a quick check with the students that they could understand my accent clearly. I noticed that these children didn’t interact much in the classroom or with their classmates too often as many were shy and afraid to speak out. Luckily then, our activities were very appropriate for getting the children to be more open and bold in themselves. As each activity progressed, the children were coming out of their shells more and more which was a terrific feeling inside and a joy to watch. It was incredible that within the space of an hour we had children who would not say boo to a goose were now standing up in front of their classmates, sharing their ideas and opinions about how they can be more open with their parents and teachers with issues that are affecting them. This was proving that active learning is effective and comes back with positive results.

There were many positives that we took away from the first sensitisations. The content was excellent in the fact that the children were shocked with the facts and statistics that were presented before them. I think for a lot of them it was a proper wakeup call and made them realised that these issues are happening and it does affect them. It seems to me the knowledge was there in their minds but its more about the encouragement and guidance that can help them share their opinions rather than keeping them to themselves.

The second school that we visited was a much bigger shock as we were faced with delivering our sensitisation to over 200 students. Next time we have learnt that we need more communication with the schools to find out the exact number of our audience so we can plan our activities so that it fits that number more effectively.

Over all we have had a very successful sensitisation with lots of positives to take away with us. It has helped us build confidence for our future sessions.

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