Lattitude Blog

Virgin Money London Marathon 2016!

 

DSCN0309

 

Exciting news, we have filled all our Virgin Money London Marathon spaces for 2016!

Last year we had four intrepid fundraisers complete the London Marathon on a cool and slightly damp spring day. It was a perfect day for all of the runners, but not such a great day for the supporters who were watching! Despite the gloomy outlook the weather made for a really fast course, with our first runner coming through in under three hours, beating their expected time by a full half an hour which was incredible. Overall, our runners raised over £5000 to support the work of our projects and partners overseas.

This year we have expanded, and have seven runners running for Team Lattitude. We’ve been following their efforts over the past few months since they signed up and were selected. It’s been a tough time over Christmas with the temptations of food, drink and good company but as the skies begin to lighten as we head towards spring it’s time to dust those running shoes off and start getting the training in.

Find out a little more about our runners and follow their progress at the links below:

Team Helcats is made up of Carmen, Sarah and Helen from Harpenden. Here is a little excerpt from Carmen on why they are running the London Marathon this year.

“Deciding to do the London Marathon was a moment of madness, tempered with a belief that it would be a fantastic achievement if I could make it across the finish line.  I do not consider myself a “runner” but I do like a challenge and think its important to keep fit and healthy. When I learnt about Lattitude Global Volunteering, it seemed like a charity closely aligned with my own ethos and offered the types of opportunity I’d be delighted for my sons to participate in in the future. In my younger days I did a lot of travelling around the world on my own, and feel there is no better experience to prepare you for life. Apart from travelling, my other hobbies include cooking, sampling good wine & cheese, socialising, antiques and keeping fit. I am terrified about doing the marathon, but will give it my best shot!” (Carmen)

“My name is Sarah and I am mother to two fab kids – my husband’s not bad either! I was thrilled that we were able to secure a place with Lattitude Global Volunteering! The fact that I have children who are growing up fast , as well as an African mother, means that this charity has a particular resonance for me. The idea that our young people can have the opportunity to experience different cultures and ways of life while they develop is especially important to me. If I am able to complete this marathon it will be realising a long  standing dream. Wish me luck – I’m gonna need it!

https://www.justgiving.com/teams/helcats

http://www.justgiving.com/Laura-Jones2016

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/paul-sheldon

https://www.justgiving.com/Matthew-Lucas5

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/sophie-woods

 

 

Cycle Two – Last week of Adaklu Waya Livelihood Project

The final week of the second cycle of the Adaklu Waya livelihood project was quite exciting and full of goodbyes. On Monday, the team did not have much of a busy day. We had our our final one to one’s and the maize team met with their group in anfoe to discuss some important issues to pave way for the next cycle. In the evening, we had a team meeting to discuss details on our debrief in Accra and the departure of the UKV’s as they leave for London on Monday.

On Tuesday, some team members took a trip to the Adaklu mountains for a hike. The team were able to complete the mountain hike in under 4 hours. Upon return, the team working with the Amuzudeve womens groundnut team went to the village to distribute dues cards to members of the group. Later in the evening, some volunteers join the anfoe basic school in their carols night.
image

On Wednesday morning, the team had a breakfast meeting with the district co-ordinating director of the district assembly, where we discuss issues and challenges concerned with the project and the partnership with the district assembly. The maize team also had a final meeting with the anfoe group and the project co-ordinator to finalise issues with the group and the Kente team also met with their group to finalise issues.
In the evening, we had the Ada awards to award volunteers for their individual contributions to the team. We enjoyed some sausage and vegetable khebab with some ‘sobolo’ juice at the all formal event. The team leaders organised a love hearts activity, giving each team member a small booklet, designed for each other team member to complete with comments and experiences which they have shared with the person.
image

On Thursday, we had our final ‘My Culture Day’ presentation from kitt, who spoke about her hometown, Milton Keynes. The Vegetable team went to waya to meet with their group and say good bye to them. The media team also worked on the debrief presentation video.

On Friday, the media team continued working on the debrief videos, whereas some volunteers were cleaning their host homes, packing and saying goodbye to their host families. The team met at 2:00 pm to complete the water sachet football net and clean up the blue house.

On Saturday morning, the bus for departure arrived very early and volunteers said their goodbye’s and departed our placement for accra at 9:00 am. We arrived at the hotel in accra at 3pm, where we checked in to our individual rooms and rested.
image

On Sunday, which is the debrief day, Volunteers also had to share their summarised personal case study with the team. We delivered presentations for our various projects and as usual the Adaklu waya livelihood project video presentation was obviously the best. Awards were given to star volunteers and best counterpart pairs of each project. Rahim took the Star volunteer award, with Sara and Christabel taking the best counterpart pair award of the Adaklu waya livelihood project.
image

image

On Monday, some volunteers went to the art centre to get some stuffs and at 3pm all volunteers went to the airport to see off the UKV’s. It was so sad saying goodbye to each other and the tears could not be stopped from flowing.
Overall this project has been a life changing experience for every single experience. We have begun a relation that will last forever. It has been great volunteering on this project.

Chloe and Rahim

Last blog By Cycle 7 Cape Coast Volunteers

As this was our last week in Cape-Coast, the team were very busy writing reports and finishing of any work that was left. As well as this we completed the goal-posts at Falahiya Islamic Basic School and emblazoned them with the Lattitude ICS logo.

Goalpost and Sachet net donated to Falahiya Islamic school

Goalpost and Sachet net donated to Falahiya Islamic school

To say goodbye to the community we organised a farewell event at the Football for Hope centre. This was attended by host families and we gave them certificates to show our gratitude for all the work they have done and love they have given.

Mama Joyce receiving a Citation of Honour  for being a host mother to her Volunteers

Mama Joyce receiving a Citation of Honour for being a host mother to her Volunteers

The volunteers helped the centre staff to give out awards to the children.  Hopefully this will boost the children’s confidence and make them come back to the centre once the volunteers leave. To leave a sustainable impact on the community here the volunteers have been organising soap making courses.This week was when the sessions took place and with 15 attendances the volunteers were on hand to help if need be.

Soap Making Participants

Soap Making Participants

It was good to see the product of our work. The volunteers enjoyed a few nice social events to celebrate their last week to put a good end on the twelve week cycle.

On behalf of the volunteers we would like to thank all of those involved in making the project a success. This goes to all those who sponsored the UK volunteers during their fundraising, without your contribution half the team would not be here. We would like to thank DFID for funding this program and offering us the opportunity to have an amazing experience. Another round of thanks goes to Play Soccer Ghana for being our partner organisation for two years. We must also pass on our thanks to the host homes and other people in the community for working with us and providing support for what we were doing. Last but not least, we would like to thank the whole team here in Cape-Coast from Cycle 1 to Cycle 7 we salute you all, and to all our followers on your social media. Thank you all for making the experience such an enjoyable and memorable one.

Cycle 1 volunteers

Cycle 1 volunteers

Cycle 3 Volunteers

Cycle 3 Volunteers

Cycle 4 Volunteers

Cycle 4 Volunteers

Cycle 5 Volunteers

Cycle 5 Volunteers

Cycle 6 Volunteers

Cycle 6 Volunteers

Cycle 7 volunteers

Cycle 7 volunteers

  “Yedase”

Cycle 2 – Week 11 in Adaklu district

This week is a slow week since we are almost done with our project here in Adaklu. Monday the 7th of December 2015, we journeyed back from Cape Coast to Adaklu, where we stayed at the weekend to visit our other volunteers at Abro and cape. We had a stopover at the Accra mall for shopping and food; followed by an eventful bus journey back home as it was a volunteer’s birthday. Due to our exhausting weekend, and late arrival time, we were given the rest of Monday off.

On Tuesday morning, Esenam and Alex had their Action citizenship day on MDG’s (Millennium Development Goals) and in the evening we had Christabel’s post birthday party self-organized and sponsored  by her counterpart Sara which we couldn’t have on Monday because we were all tired when we came back from Cape Coast. Fun was had by all with food, drinks, games, music and dancing, where everybody was till they retired to bed. We also had our usual Tuesday meetings and weekly updates; livelihood groups were discussed and other matters relating to our upcoming events were also sorted out.

bella

On Wednesday we had a fufu post birthday party in the morning, which enabled all the volunteers to get together and share some traditional African food. After the planning and logistic group met to discuss our upcoming event and in the evening we had our sketch and choreography rehearsals for the same event. The sports day committee also met on Wednesday to plan the games which the school children would partake in.

sports

It was a very cold Thursday morning, and the maize group went to waya to bid goodbye to their waya farming group before they leave the Adaklu community and the planning and logistic team went with them to survey the event ground for the upcoming event on Sunday. The sports day committee met again today to sort and organize the various items the volunteers donated into prizes for the children who would partake. Some of the volunteers who teach at the Anfoe E.P School went to the school to bid both the teachers and students goodbye. And the groundnut group also had their meeting with the farmers to package, price and label their products ‘’Dzowe’’ and “Tom Brown” for the event on Sunday.

Friday was eventful, where the volunteers had a spelling bee and sport competition organized for the students of the Anfoe E.P basic school, in other to give away the gifts they brought from their various homes when coming on the placement. The children who took the first, second and third positions got storybooks, shirts and shorts, pens, crayons, game boxes and participants also took away some valuable gifts as well. It was so much fun especially seeing these children smiling and rushing home to show their presents to their family. Volunteer Sara presented her ‘My Cultures Day’ with a twist as she has lived in various countries throughout her life, so she took her fellow volunteers through the different cultures found in each. She named it my cultures day because she came from three different countries. We learnt about life in Poland, Algeria, Spain, Bahrain and Wales. She finished off her presentation by teaching everyone a Ceilidh, with everyone up on their feet learning the traditional Welsh dance.

sport1

The weekend saw a funeral so close to where volunteers stay, today Saturday and most of the volunteers found it easy to just walk around and watch people dancing, crying and remembering. Some volunteers met to design and paint posters and banners for the event the following day; we had volunteer Alberta overcoming the lack of resources and using her fingers to paint a banner! At 4pm, all the volunteers headed to Waya to walk through the community and inform and remind them about the event tomorrow. The volunteers stumbled upon a wedding at the church, and some took time out to enjoy the festivities. The volunteer participants also had their last sketch and choreography rehearsals for the whole dream team before our Sunday event.

On Sunday, the volunteers woke up early for the event, we tidied up the event ground; planning and logistic group taking up the lead and reminding everyone of their assigned duties for when the event started. We headed back home after an awesome team effort; putting up shades, chairs and making sure everyone would have a great time. After lunch we headed back to the event ground, where the volunteers rallied while the bus shuttled participants of the various livelihood groups from their communities to the event location. We had a successful event, with lots of dancing and talks from resource personnel’s on important of marketing and branding. The choreography was well presented which got the crowd cheering and the sketch clearly delivered our message about marketing and branding, savings, good packaging and marketing skills.

event

The livelihood groups also did well in presenting their end products, we had waya kekeli maize group presenting branded “azikpeli”, Anfoe Kente group, presenting different types of Kente which were well branded, Waya vegetable group also presenting well dried Okro seeds which were also branded, and also well prepared “Shito” made from different types of vegetables coming from their farms. We also had the Waya mawulikplimi women’s association who are all groundnut farmers presenting Groundnut cake, groundnut paste, and roasted groundnuts all well branded and labelled and lastly we had the Anfoe Edem groundnut group which presented “tom brown” and our locally made “dzowe” which was very well branded. After the competition, the judges declared the Anfoe Edem groundnut group as the overall winner, the Waya mawulikplimi women’s association had the second position, the waya vegetable group had the third position, the Anfoe Kente group had the fourth positions and the Waya kekeli maize group had the fifth position. The first, second and third winners had certificates wellington boots, cutlasses, nose masks, and gloves as prizes and the other winners had a certificate of participation.

The event was a success and very fun. As this is our last event and week in Waya, volunteers had a nice time chatting, interacting and dancing with the community members. We all got back to Anfoe had a brief congratulatory meeting with the team leaders and the coordinator and which we all retired to bed after as we were all so exhausted.

 

Meghan and Christabel.

Cycle Two – Week 10 in Adaklu District

This Monday it was the turn of Tilly and Richard to give an Active Citizenship presentation to the group. They did the session on Woman rights and Gender Equality and it turned out to be one of the best ‘ACD’ presentations so far. It got everyone’s attention hooked and we all precipitated in the discussion. We all got well educated on the views of other and the difference and similarities between our cultures.

On Tuesday the 1st of December we all met up at 9am to cut more sachets for the Goal net we are making for the local JHS School. Later in the day the Groundnut Group registered the Amuzudeve Groundnut Farmers Association with the District Assembly. The Amuzudeve group have been so committed and so very thankful to us and to Lattitude ICS that it was a real pleasure to have them finally registered and be able to know that in the future the cycles will continue working with them, helping them with  training and supporting their small village community. The days Team leaders platform was fulfilled by Winnie and Sera and they deliver very well all day, keeping everyone up to date and hosting the weekly team meeting.

12299291_175548639462537_4336629842226054627_n

On Wednesday teaching continued in Anfoe Primary school and Waya JHS by some of the volunteers. The Kente Group met up and showed the volunteers how they have started really preparing for the Awareness Event we are holding on Marketing and Branding. Amy Jone and Chloe hosted our social that evening  – it was a night of fun games and food! It was our Co-Ordinator Derricks birthday and the team leaders brought the group Pizza and drinks as well. Since Derrick could do be around that evening the whole team called him up and put him on loud speaker so that we could all sing the happy birthday song to him.

12301753_173658389651562_273016143706545544_n

On Thursday the Maize Group went to Waya to have a meeting focusing on Marketing and Branding. The Maize Farmers designed a sticker and a slogan they wanted to use on the ‘Maize and Groundnut’ product at our Awareness Event and the Volunteers took a sample of their design ready to digitise and print off some labels for them. Matt Edwards held a wonderful My Culture Day presentation on Devon and the South West of England – we learnt everything from the correct order to put cream and jam a scone (cream first) and how to speak like a proper South Weston farm boy!

12310414_176270999390301_562319175746317511_n

This Friday was National Farmers day. We were all invited to the Adaklu District Best Farmers Award Ceremony and our Team Leader Matt was given opportunity to present an award to the Best Groundnut Farmer, who happened to come from one of our livelihood groups in our home village of Anfoe. The celebrations were overwhelming with much singing, drumming and dancing which all the volunteers got up and got involved it! That afternoon Kitt and Rahim had a Kwik all about Video Blogging and Editing. They filmed part of the session and then had the volunteers turn it in to a short video – all was going well until Chloe accidently deleted the whole project file! But at least we all learnt a valuable lesion on saving work and Data storage!

12348134_176777896006278_7225378583671572221_n

We woke up at dawn on Saturday to visit the other projects in Cape Coast and Abrobiano. We set of a 4.30am and stopped at Accra Mall on the way for some tasty breakfast! We arrived at Abrobiano (a small Fishing town) at 2.30 pm and enjoyed a delicious lunch outside the ICS Lattitude library before a community tour. Later after being taken to our host homes we went to the beach for a swim! However the waves were a bit strong and it turned in to more of a sandy, salty and watery battle then a pleasant dip. That night we were treated to a chilled out bon fire under the stars.

On Sunday after breakfast at Abrobiano we left for the Kakum national park Canopy Walk. The experience was quite thrilling and existing – especially for those of us who are afraid of heights! We then moved on to Cape Coast and got to see the Football for Hope centre where the volunteers work. We had Lunch and got to go on a tour which including visiting Cape Coast Market. The hustle and bustle of a big city market was quite a shock for us after being in our sleepy village of Anfoe for so long.  We then all played a pretty intense Football match (with the team sustaining a few injuries) before moving on to the office where we had our dinner. Later in the evenings we went out to the Goil Filling Station where the live band kept us dancing and dancing late into the night. 12348485_10207567231272395_700916807_n

 

Kitt & Shawukiya

Cycle 2 – 9th week in Adaklu district

Hello, our names are Alex and Winifred.

 

I’m (Alex, 21) from a town called Muswell Hill in North London. I’m loving everyday of my experience in Ghana with Lattitude ICS. A couple months preceding my departure, I graduated from the University of Nottingham after three years of studying. As a opposed to getting a job straight away, I couldn’t resist the temptation to take a year off for travelling, to have invaluable experiences you simply wouldn’t find back in the UK. I’ve been living in Adaklu Waya, Ghana, for more than two months now and couldn’t be more happier and appreciative of the lifestyle I’ve come to find. It’s the pure communal nature of this town, the wildlife, the work we’re conducting, there’s so many things to value.

 

I am Winifred from the Volta Region of Ghana . My hometown is the legal route and the final destination to the Democratic Republic of Togo. Being a product of University for Development Studies I  really love community development works and have passion for humanitarian projects. In fact being on this ICS program has helped me to be open minded and integrate into other people’s culture.

 

We will be describing the previous week, just a snippet of our grand experience here in Adaklu.

 

Every Monday, two members of the group (one UKV and one ICV), are tasked with performing an ACD (Active Citizenship Day) presentation to the rest of the group. The turn was Ruby and Alberta’s. Their subject of choice was poverty. This is a very interesting and informative presentation where the group learnt far more about extent of global poverty, the differences between relative and absolute poverty, and ways in which poverty can be eradicated. It was the type of presentation which really makes one comprehend the importance of the work they are conducting. The whole team became fully engaged in the discussion over the issue of poverty. Even after the presentation had finished, we stayed behind to debate and understand our different conceptions of poverty and how best to eliminate it.

12308722_172827766401291_4423022960504666858_n

Tuesday saw the commencement our weekly team meeting. In the first few weeks of the cycle, these meetings would last about 40 minutes. It’s a chance for each primary team (Groundnut, Maize, vegetable and Kente) to inform the rest of the group of their recent activities, what they’ve achieved, what’s next ect.. This also applies to our secondary teams (media, planning and logistics, safety and security, marketing and events). The meetings which were once 40 minutes however now last almost 2 hours. It’s a potent indicator of how much more work we’re doing now that we’ve matured into the cycle. On top of the usual group catch ups, we also discussed our upcoming first aid event in Anfoe and our approaching visit to Cape Coast.

 

Wednesday is usually a more relaxed day for volunteers. There’s no meetings or presentations to be given, only a social to attend to in the evening. This is not to say we’re not doing anything. Most of us will be engaged in meetings for their farming groups or their secondary groups. Some of us also choose to go teaching at the local primary school, I (Alex) enjoy this very much. Usually 3 or 4 times a week, I will teach my P5 class math, history or English. When I initially started teaching, I was supported and aided by a Ghanaian teacher. However, as a result of maternity leave, she was no longer able to teach her pupils. This unfortunately left the P5 class without a teacher. As result, I try my best to go into school as much as I can, to teach and set the pupils homework, to offer what I can in the absence of their teacher. Several other volunteers also perform a similar task. Rahim for example has been teaching in Waya JHS. He has been doing this since the start of our cycle and is one of the few to still do it.

 

On Wednesday evening, all the volunteers attending Matt and Richard’s social. Much to the delight of the group, there was a bonfire, as well as drinks and food prepared for us. We played a game called assassin which soon became very popular. It’s a fairly complicated game in which each volunteer is secretly designated a role, it’s a game of mystery and deceit. The aim is to decipher which two volunteer’s are the assassins before the entire team are eliminated. Even after the social had officially finished, we continued to play a few more rounds. As it got later, many people started to leave, however a small group stayed behind to listen to music by the fire, we talked into the night.

 

We had our MCD (My Culture Day) presentation on Thursday. This is a chance for sole volunteer, or a group of volunteer’s, to tell the rest of the team about where they come from. This week, it was Tilly, Ruby and Chloe who educated the group about the South East of England, they focused largely on the City of London. It was a fascinating presentation which taught the group about events such as the fire of London and the bubonic plague. As a team, we also learnt more about the culture of this part of the UK.

12278661_173176036366464_8547397729203145317_n

In the afternoon, we group conducted their first aid event in Anfoe. Having performed the same presentation in Waya the week before, each volunteer was far more confident about their role. You could see this by just how swiftly and professionally the presentation ran. My (Alex) designated topic to inform the local community about was small cuts and epilepsy. Epilepsy was a very interesting topic because there is a very strong stigma against the mental condition. There were many things to address. For example, that epilepsy wasn’t contagious, furthermore that it wasn’t anything to do with witchcraft or the devil. This is very rewarding to educate the community these facts since a housemate at university had the condition. It was fulfilling to know that perhaps people in the local community who suffer from epilepsy will now be better taken care of.

12299403_173604759656925_6340554573306219380_n

On Friday, we had our KWIK (know what I know) presentation. This was performed by Alberta and Tilly. The first half of their KWIK was focused on how to make a particular type of Ghanaian jewelry with fabric

which involves a lot of buttons. The group were split into groups of 4 and were tasked to design a piece. When we were finished, all pieces were displayed and we voted as a team which one was the best. The second half of the presentation was headed by Tilly, it was focused on human anatomy which was very interesting, we’re sure each member learnt something new about the human body.

12279134_173605119656889_3445966860187698138_n

After a fairly long week, the weekend was welcomed graciously by the team. But there were few sleep ins on Saturday as most of the volunteers were up and ready to play football at 6am. We can definitely see major improvements in how we play together. It’s a very enjoyable way to spend the morning. Bring on Cape and Abro teams! In the afternoon, some members of the team also practiced a skit they will perform in the upcoming awareness event on marketing and branding. Aside from these, most of the volunteers were free to relax and enjoy the weekend.

 

It’s a weird thought to consider how little time we have left in this beautiful community. But we cant wait to utilize that time as much as possible before we are both home. It’s been a pleasure to catch you up on the activities of our previous week. Thank you our lovely fans for reading our snippet of our journey. We hope we have the best of luck as we enter into the last few weeks of this cycle! Akpe name!

 

Abrobiano Cycle 7 – Week 10

Week 10 started with the busiest weekend of the cycle – we really saw Ghana! We had the Adaklu volunteers over for the night, and had a relaxing catch up of food, walks, coconuts, swimming and bonfires. I’m sure the visitors went away feeling very glad of their condition up in the North compared to our relatively basic lifestyle.

12348485_10207567231272395_700916807_n

On the Sunday the Abrobiano gang travelled along with the Adaklu crew to Kakum National Park. We’d all heard  lot about the canopy walk and the beauty of the place, so expectations were high! We were taken on a walking tour first by our esteemed guide Christopher. He excited us with talk of monkeys and leopards, only to break the news that we would not see such nocturnal beasts. But it was a really beautiful rainforest, and we had soon climbed the hill to the start of the canopy walk. The route was a series of 7 precarious rope walkways, ranging from 11m-40m high in the canopy. Some volunteers loved it and were shaking themselves every which way, and others edged lowly, clinging to the rope for their dear lives.

12380406_10207567232752432_1848643817_n

We all survived, luckily, and boarded the buses bound to Cape Coast. We were hosted and treated to a grand jollof feast by the Football For Hope guys, and some took the chance to explore the city and the buzzing market streets. One huge, manic road led all the way down the sea, and down it you could buy almost whatever your heart contented: fine cloth; delicious street food; stylish sandals; paint of the emulsion or oil based variety; smooth Swiss chocolate; even tiny wooden elephants. The vibrancy of the city swept some of the village-dwellers up, and we spent all of our allowance all at once! A couple of the group also ventured up Fort William, one of many ancient colonial monuments. Though the mist had wrapped the city up, the view of the multicoloured buildings steepled upon the cliffs was reminiscent of Naples- a lovely view! In the early evening we had a game of football – an essential feature of the team meet-ups – on the artificial turf that was typically high tempo and exhausting for all!  The evening brought some real Ghanaian culture – live music! Rastas with gnarly beats and bass riffs got us all bouncing, and they even managed to fit in the Abro anthem which is Hero by Enrique. We danced until the early hours, and trudged home to get a quick kip.

 

Monday morning saw the departure of Adaklu, but the fun didn’t stop for the others! We hit the market again, and devoured some plantain and beans before finally hitting the road after noon. We had one final destination before Abro – Elmina Castle. This is a castle 503 years old established by the Portuguese before passing to the Dutch and finally the English. It had always functioned as a part of the ‘evil trade’ – slavery, and was a network of dungeons and cells contrasting with the churches and governor’s quarters up above. Particularly chilling was the ‘door of no return’, the final leg of the slaves stay in the fort which led directly to the beach. One inscription we found on the wall resonated with a lot of the volunteers: Until the lion has a historian, the hunter is always the hero.

On Tuesday, the group had to rouse itself back into action, to try and finish the work left to do in Abrobiano. We had deadlines for football nets, painting projects, an impact movie to finish, and final surveys to get done – busy!

On Wednesday Bernadine and Robbie showed us what they know. Robbie’s topic was radio, and showed us the basic layout of a recording studio with all the knobs and soundwaves. Bernadine provided what all they UKVs were needing – recipes for our favourite Ghanaian dishes!  There was yam balls, sobolo and kelewele, so now whenever we miss Ghana, we can whip up a meal and remember all the good times!  In the evening Deladem hosted the final social with some quizzes and fifa.

12388165_10207567216992038_764286620_n

By Thursday things were looking good. The KG classroom was taking shape brilliantly, and I don’t think anyone expected the vibes to change so much with just a few licks of paint! We have numbers, letters, verbs, flags and even shapes! Sakodie treated us to the final KWIK which was a nice board game, ludo.

Come Friday, everything was getting wrapped up – final filming was being done by the media team, action research were compiling their pie charts and the infrastructure putting the final flurries on the painting.

The final weekend in Abrobiano looms large!

Abrobiano Cycle 7 – Week 9

This week has proven to be one of the most productive and busy weeks yet, whilst here in Abro. With only two weeks remaining, the workload has increased and the team have responded with a lot of work to show for it!

This was the week of the framer’s day event, managed by Robbie, therefore there was plenty to organize by the time it came around on Friday. As part of the event, the team bravely accepted the challenge of providing the local farmers, fishermen and the remainder of the community with a unique local cultural dance, which meant one thing – us UK volunteers needed to rehearse in order to prevent a calamitous slip up on the day. Almost daily we managed to fit in the time to practice our routines and ensure our hips were in tip top shape for the big day…

Over the time we have spent here in Abrobiano, a major project we have looked to complete and provide the community with before we have to leave is the production of a football sachet net. At times it has been a painstakingly long process as we gradually edge closer to the size of a goal, but this week team Abro finally completed the net ready to be handed over to the village for full use! We have even just started another one…

12367067_10207567246792783_777985295_n

The infrastructure team have been very busy recently and this is evident through the on-going roofing at the Islamic primary and also the painting of the MA primary classroom. With a little help from the whole team and the impressive art skills of Sara and co, we have transformed the room from a; dull, dusty and bland  4 walls to a colourfully engaging room which the kids and teachers alike have been delighted to see the visual change. It’s just a shame that we are unable to do every room, as I know everyone has loved getting involved in it and seeing the happy faces of the kids!

12345395_920362594723972_3925547313730710529_n

This Thursday, up stepped Fred and his chance to shine in his ACD. Teaching, educating and entertaining the group on his own, he produced a thoroughly interesting session on Sustainable global goals- the last one of the project! A well delivered and thought out session included the team to explain their thoughts and choices around the millennium goals and how we can all make a difference to the world, in ways that we may not have thought before. Very thought provoking.

12341325_1058745660844819_6353296510823067824_n

So after a hectic week, Friday was here. All the preparations and all the effort everyone had put in would now have something to show for it! The day started at 1, therefore the morning was dedicated to ensuring everything was in shape and in order for the schedule of the day. The turnout was impressive and the village gathered in anticipation in the market square as Vivian and Jack hosted proceedings. With a; local DJ, cultural dances from schools, raffle, guest speakers from a cape coast university lecturer and our very own Selet, the day flowed perfectly as the locals sat back and enjoyed a day to highlight the importance of famers and fishermen to a local community, such as Abrobiano.  Oh, the dancing went swimmingly well, just in case you were wondering…

 

12324973_950695514997426_1735537645_nDSC0363012325311_950695528330758_524466072_n

With only 2 weeks now left in the village, it’s dawning on us all how little we have left here… no doubt next week will be just as productive and memorable.

Week 10 Blog Post by Bismark, Ashley, Scott and Bayala

Week 10 started with  extension of core program at St. Nicholas Basic School at 10am where we took the pupils through “Health, Social and Soccer components” using football as a tool which we had a good turnout. The team returned to the office unabated to conduct team meeting to plan for the week and as well track progress of work done so far.

Tuesday the 1st of December 2015 was World Aids Day as well as International Volunteer Day. Volunteers headed off to the center to partake in the Aids forum organized by Play Soccer Ghana. Immediately after the forum, Dora and Joe presented their Active Citizenship Day on the topic “Human Rights” where they gave us breakdowns of human rights and our roles as volunteers to promote each other’s human rights. It was an engaging topic which sparked discussions among team members.

IMG_6520

IMG_6555

Active Citizenship Day By Dora & Joe (Oscar)

After the presentation, volunteers climbed up the hill to Mfantsipim School which was the venue for the International Volunteer Day. A resource person from the United Nations Development Programme engaged all present on the MDGs and the progress SDGs seek to bring on board and the way forward.All present were enlightened on the purpose of each goal and ways we can all help achieve these goals.

IMG_6612

International Volunteer Day at Mfantsipim S.H.S

St. Monica’s Girls school hosted us as usual for extension of core program at exactly 8:30 am on Wednesday. The girls were cheerfully out in their numbers and colours to grace the core program and participate actively as they always do. Volunteers went to the office afterwards to continue planning for our second event and as well as to check progress of the “To Do list” of the week.

extension of core program

Extension of core program

Thursday was rather a calm one as our second event was postponed due to some arrangements from school authorities. The team regrouped and went back to the drawing table to go through the presentations for the event again and as well plan for Abro and Adaklu visit and our trip to Kakum National Park.

Cultural Day Presentation by Bismark

Cultural Day Presentation by Bismark

“All work and no fun make the team over zealous” the team organized an excursion on Friday which was a public National Farmers Day, theholiday greeted us with a smile because we are going to Kakum National Park. It was fun times at the park even though some had their hearts in their mouth when climbing the canopy walkway.

The Great Cape Coast Team at Kakum National Park

The Great Cape Coast Team at Kakum National Park

Abrobiano Cycle 7 – Week 8

Saturday

Some of the volunteers started the weekend off with yoga led by Sara at the White House. Later in the day volunteers began the project of painting the KG classroom in the MA primary school as part of our infrastructure. Then the rest of the weekend was spent relaxing and planning for the week ahead.

IMG_8169

Monday

The group were up and ready this morning for farm engagement in preparation for Framer’s Day Event. We had to arrive at the office at 7:00AM to start the day off. The team were divided into four groups: the media team and three other groups went to different farms. The first group went to Mr. Dadzie’s which was a charcoal, coconut, cassava, garden eggs and papaya farm. The second group went to Aunty Ama’s mixed cropping farm and then to her husband’s- Frank Kwasis palm wine and slow gin farm. The third group went to Mr Quansahs mixed cropping farm and they were harvesting the produce. The whole really enjoyed visiting the farms of community members.

 

Whilst this was going on, the latest infrastructure project began. Masons have been hired to raise the roof of a classroom in the Islamic school, which was too low and hot for the students.

IMG_7980

Tuesday

Today was the last day of teaching in the MA Primary for the volunteers. we gave the classes a action research survey test to find out the impact of our project over our time in Abro from  Cycle 1 to Cycle 7. It was sad to have our last lesson in the schools. the day was led very well by team leaders Vivian and Steph as the made sure the day ran smoothly and efficiently. In the afternoon we also had a meeting about the plans for the Farmers Day Event.

IMG_7957

Wednesday

IMG_8015

Again we woke up bright and early this morning to get to the office for 7:00AM so we could attend Farm Engagement. The first group went to Kwabena Quansah’s farm which had cassava, tomatoes and garden eggs. Then the group joined the second group at Mr Anors farm on the hill, which is the biggest cassava in the whole of Abrobiano. Volunteers helped with weeding and got cassava for reward. the media team went to Mr Quansahs farm to film the harvesting of produce and get footage for the Farmers Day Event.  In the evening we went to Clinton and Robbie’s social which involved dancing, pineapple, thisway chocolate drink and doughnuts.

IMG_7899

Thursday

Today we went to the office and focused on completing the water sachet football net for the community and we can begin with another one for the Boabab Centre. We also focused on individual teamwork to get planned and organised for our upcoming activities.

We were also treated to great MCDs from Steph, on Durham and Newcastle, and Vivian who talked about Ashanti traditions.

IMG_8093

Friday

This morning was another early morning for Fishing engagement. Kwabena Quansah kindly took us out onto the lagoon.

IMG_8141

We all really enjoyed the opportunity of seeing Abrobiano from a different angle. In the afternoon we had KWIK done by Deladem on HTML and Selet on Cashew farming which were both interesting. And we then finished the day with our team meeting.

IMG_7947

By Sarah & Bernadine