Friday, 15 December 2017

Final words from Cohort 3!

It’s hard to believe that our 10 week placement is almost over. Today is our last day in the Youth Alive office and on Sunday we will be leaving Navrongo to make our way to Tamale for the debrief event, before we all go back home. I’m sure I can speak on behalf of my entire team in saying that this has been a truly interesting experience which none of us are likely to forget any time soon. There have been ups and downs throughout our time here, but we have persevered and worked hard in our attempt to make a lasting impact in the communities in which we have worked.

In 10 weeks we have;
  • ·          Participated in 4 radio shows as guests discussing
o   Youth Confidence
o   Child abuse
o   Family Planning
o   Summary of our work in the 10 weeks
  • ·         A women’s sensitisation carried out in 4 different communities discussing the encouragement of children to continue in education, how to deal with teenage pregnancy, etc.
  • ·         A community sensitisation on family planning in 3 communities
  • ·         3 Senior High School sensitisations on preparing them for the future after school.
  • ·         A Junior High School sensitisation on Child Marriage in 4 different schools.
  • ·         A Junior High School sensitisation on Youth Confidence in 4 schools.
  • ·         Participated in a girls club at one of the Junior High Schools.
  • ·         Had 10 Guided Learning sessions on understanding human rights.
  • ·         Had 2 project visits from LIFE and Trade Aid.
  • ·         Visited Sandema to see team LIFE and Bolga to see Trade Aid and BICAF.
  • ·         10 blog posts including this one.
  • ·         Visited Tongo Hills and experienced authentic Ghanaian culture.
  • ·         Carried out 4 community exit meetings with community members and Chiefs.

Listing all of the things that we have done like this makes me realise just how much we have achieved in 2 and a half months. 10 people who had never met each other before participating in the ICS programme have come together from varying backgrounds, put aside their differences, worked strongly together and entered deprived areas of Ghana to alleviate the plight of vulnerable people. One thing we all have in common is our passion to help those in vulnerable positions and do what we can to impact the lives of those in deprived areas here in Navrongo. The members of the communities themselves which we have worked in have been incredible. They have welcomed us warmly, listened to us, asked us questions, taken on board what we have to say, laughed with us, prayed for us and been an absolute pleasure to work with. We may have been there to teach them, but they have taught us more than we could have ever anticipated.

For many of my team this was their first time away from home for an extended period of time and I am extremely proud of everyone for powering through their homesickness on down days and getting on with the work at hand. This was not my first time living away from home but this experience was still tough on me at points. Moving away from home (whether it be thousands of miles or even just a few hours away from your hometown) is never going to be easy, especially since the culture may be unbelievably different from what you are used to. I think my team has acted as an incredible support network for each other and we are very lucky to all get on so well.

The team goes beyond working together. We have celebrated 3 birthdays, visited Tono Dam, been to the swimming pool (almost every week), toasted marshmallows, been to a wedding, carved watermelons for Halloween, played and taught each other card games, played scrabble, had movie nights, visited Church, watched football and rugby together, visited each other’s host families, spent hours chatting, getting to understand everyone’s cultures, gave secret Santa gifts and have visited Obama’s tea spot and the Prison Canteen more times than we can count.

I would like to use this final blog post to thank my team for being so wonderful and supportive. These 10 weeks wouldn’t have been the same without you!




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