Friday, 23 March 2018

Navrongo…an experience like no other

Photo credit: Tom

As we come to the end of our 10th week on placement here in Navrongo, we have all had the experience of a lifetime. The integration between the UK and Ghanaian volunteers has grown to become like one big family. Along our journey we have shared differences between our different cultures and have gained a lot of stories to reminisce about. We as volunteers have reviewed our experience during our time on placement including how we have found the ICS programme and the excitement of working alongside Youth Alive.
Rosie (Photo credit: Gloria)
I, being the youngest of the group, have greatly come to love Ghana and working with Youth Alive has given me a massive insight into topics I have not thought about in a lot of detail before. I believe the ICS programme really opens your eyes to issues that are happening all around the world. During the whole of the 10 weeks I have become my own person and have found a great passion for the topics we have been focusing on,especially women’s rights. I have developed many skills that I will continue to put into practice after our placement ends and have enjoyed the challenge of pushing myself to my absolute limits.

Osman and I (Photo credit: Rosie)

Osman, on the other hand, said that from his time on placement he has learnt a lot from the ICS programme especially from the interaction with the local community members. He has developed skills that he never thought he previously had and he has become a better typist! Overall, this experience for Osman has helped to expand his network of contacts and that both ICS and Youth Alive are helping to create a positive change. He would encourage people who have the heart to volunteer to join this programme to not only help make a positive impact but to also develop themselves as a person.

Gloria and I (Photo credit: Rosie)
Following on from this, the nurse of the group, Gloria, has had a wonderful time on placement and has found it to be very educative. Working alongside Youth Alive, Gloria has found it be very informative and supportive. Continually, the topics that we are focusing on are very close to her heart, especially child marriage. Gloria looks forward to seeing a world where women will be heard just like men. She has gained a lot of skills such as confidence when speaking in public.

Mahera and I (Photo credit: Rosie)

Mahera has found the programme to help her personal development and has found the experience to be very eye opening. Over the course of her placement her writing skills have improved greatly.

Nathaniel and I (Photo credit: Mahera)
Nathaniel, who is a local citizen of the Navrongo district, has had a very different experience with being so close to home. The programme has moulded him into a good team player which has made him feel more comfortable and confident within himself. He has also found working with Youth Alive to be very useful and an experience he will never forget.

Alice and I (Photo credit:Elizabeth)
Alice, who is also from the Upper East region of Ghana, has thoroughly enjoyed her time on placement and has grown in confidence over the course of the 10 weeks. She has learnt many skills that will be of use to her when she returns home such as her public speaking skills and she has also had the chance to practice her typing.

ICV TL- Shasha (Photo credit: Tom)

Whilst our team of volunteers have learnt the Navrongo way of life, our team leaders have also been adapting to the change of living away from home. The In-country team leader Shasha has found it to be particularly great working with Youth Alive especially when it comes to the sensitising of the communities and local schools on key issues that are affecting them personally.

For the last few weeks of our placement, we were still busy as ever carrying out activities. Firstly, we carried out peer education sessions in all the 4 local schools (Tampola, Gaani, Biu and Vunania). The topic that was discussed focused on ‘Adolescent reproductive health’and created many interesting discussions among the students.
Gloria guiding our peer educators through Adolescent Reproductive Health
(Photo credit: Shasha)

As a continuation of our work we have also coached students to appear on our last radio session discussing adolescent reproductive health. This helped to educate the pupils and the locals. 
Students of Vunania and Gaani Junior High Schools on Nabiina Radio (Photo credit: Osman)

Whilst also trying to see the beauty of Ghana before we leave, our team leaders took us outside the office for our guided learning at Tono Dam. This was a very interesting experience learning about the history of one of the largest dams in West Africa.
After Guided learning at Tono Dam (Photo credit: Tom)

Our ten weeks on placement wouldn't have been successful without our driver, Alhaji Sandow. He has been so patient, supportive and a father to us.
with our driver, Alhaji Sandow (Photo credit: Shasha)

Overall, our experience has been exhilarating and has challenged all of us in many ways and as a team would like to thank all the readers of our blogs, the ICS programme and Youth Alive.

Written by Rosie Paine

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