Lattitude Blog

Cycle 6 – Week 3 by Lauren Dunn & Wilhelmina Ayinsah

On the morning of Saturday 16th March we were all involved in Core Programme, where the three groups (Social, Health and Soccer) all had specific activities where they involved the children in learning whilst playing soccer. The activities included HIV Awareness and Prevention of Anger within soccer.

On Sunday, the majority of the team attended churches in the morning, with some watching the football in ‘The Spot’ in the afternoon/evening.

On Monday, we all came together at the office at 10am, where we planned, marketed and researched our first event, which was decided to be a Job Fair on 13th June. Other activities of the day were based on Livelihood Project preparation for the first lessons to be held on Tuesday 19th May, which were ICT and Reading/Writing. Throughout the day, we all worked on the sachet nets which are progressing very well. Homework Club was happening in the evening between 4-5pm, where the children were helped with their homework and were educated on different subjects.

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The next day, we continued with the event planning, budgeting and research into additional businesses and vacancies that can be involved within the event. Tuesday was another day where we worked on sachet nets as a group to progress even further. Week 3 also saw Sabiha and Evans have their very interesting Learning Day, which was based on Poverty. Our Livelihood Project was up and running between 1pm-3pm, straight after Lunch. It was an hour based on ICT, as well as an hour on Reading and Writing. It was a challenge due to the different skill and ability levels of those students that attended the Project.

During the morning on Wednesday, we decided as a team to contact radio stations for air time to raise awareness of the upcoming event, we also decided to create invitations for businesses to invite them to the Job Fair. Homework Club was attended by all the team after lunch where the children learned and enjoyed the afternoon whilst interacting with their friends and teachers.

On the morning of Thursday 21 May, Mark and Joe had their Culture days. Joe gave a very interesting presentation on the history of video gaming and how it has shaped who he is today, and Mark based his Culture Day on the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The group were all engaged and asked many questions. Straight after question and answer time for the two lads, Nadia and Lawrencia also had their Culture Day; Nadia’s Culture Day was based on South London and Lawrencia’s culture was again based on the Ashanti Region of Ghana, where she paid close attention to the naming ceremony. Both presentations were presented in different manners and various cultures that they see and find within their area, making it interesting and fascinating.

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The next day, before and after lunch, we were split into different teams and headed into three different directions within Cape Coast to try and recruit more businesses and vacancies for the event on 13th June. The outing and team bonding proved to be very successful and we recruited many businesses and created many more job vacancies for those people who will be attending the Job Fair looking for a job.

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Abro Cycle 6 Week 3 – Dan & Natalina

Akwaba! Our second week on placement started out the same as the first, really hot and really sunny. On Monday morning we split into our groups for Community Engagement and went to our assigned zones. Community engagement is where we go around and engage with the community (pretty simple) we write some questions about various health and other important issues and use them for us to gage their knowledge on the subjects.  We go to different houses and ask them the questions and see what they know and don’t know. The first survey was a recap of what the other cycles covered so we had a rough idea of what information the locals had retained. The questions from week 2 were about HIV, teenage pregnancy and abortion.

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Having Workshops with the pupils on healthy practices

After the survey we went to the office where we were split into different teams with different responsibilities for the coming weeks. (media team for example had the responsibility of taking photos and videos and uploading this blog)  the other teams were: the communication team, Abro Players (a drama team) library team, infrastructure team and external affairs team.

On the 12th may we went to meet the schools, we went to MA primary school first and waited around for a while, again seeming to abide by GMT. We were meant to be teaching our first classes but instead we were told to wait till 11 to meet the children and wait for the following week to begin teaching. We were put in front of the school to meet the children. We told the children our names and they seemed happy to meet us, also there was a surprise for Kendall as all the children started singing him happy birthday. A massive surprise for his 21st! After the Islamic primary and the Abro junior high school we went for lunch.

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Making nets from empty water sachets

 

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After lunch on the Tuesday we went back to the office and were shown a small video on how to make water sachet nets. Most of the water out here is in small water sachets, they look like small bean bags of water and are the most common rubbish here. We spent a few hours starting one of the nets and it would good for us to learn as we would soon be teaching the children how to do it. We also held a surprise party for Kendall on the beach that evening.

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Birthday boy Kendall!                       

 

On the Wednesday we started our Wednesday Worship Workshop (WWW) at the various schools. Within in the allocated 15 minutes we conducted a recap survey for the students on various health issues and issues affecting the community at large. After the sessions we did various workshops with the team leaders and the coordinator Nana. The following days we had other workshops where we planned what would happen for the next few weeks. We have some big events planned so hopefully they go well and run on our time, not GMT!(Ghana Maybe Time)

See ya!

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The whole team at Kendall’s birthday

 

Cycle 6 – Week 2 by George Gunn & James Dimado

After School Homework Club

After a relaxed weekend from our first week in cape coast, which was full of planning, the second week was much, more task based.

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We actively took part in the after school homework club session as part of our programme line up for our project. During this period, volunteers together with team leaders assist staff at the football for hope center in teaching the kids. Various subjects are being taught during this session. Among these subjects include; Mathematics, R.M.E, English Language, Social Studies, IT and Science. Classes being taught during this programme ranges from kindergarten to JHS two and attendance for the first homework club session was quite impressive.

 

Learning and Culture Day

On 12th May 2015, the team had its first learning day and there was a presentation by Lawrencia Yiadom and Tony Smith on pollution. They educated us on the types of pollution, causes and effects of pollution and how to prevent or minimize it.

 

14/5/2015 – In the afternoon Lauren (the ‘Geordie’) UKV and Wilhemina ICV did a presentation on their individual cultures. We learnt about Newcastle, Lauren’s hometown, and discussed differences between her culture and local town history, with Mina’s Ghanaian cultural background.

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Mina, who is from the Central region expressed her passion for her culture saying that, “there is no negative aspects of my culture”, she displayed pride for her hometown. Lauren however, had a balanced view “Newcastle is known for its binge drinking culture”, which shed a slight negative light on her hometown. But she also went on to describe Newcastle’s up and coming arts culture, with its new restaurants, galleries and modern public spaces, which bared a more positive view on the northern city in England.

 

Both volunteers did a great job for the first culture day of the 6th cycle and we all look forward to the remaining culture days in the next 8 weeks.

 

Committee Work

11-13th & 15th May 2015 – On Monday the Committee’s all got stuck in with their respective work. Last week proved a great start and after a short weekend break we were ready to get the ball rolling at the start of the week.

 

Each committee did well in coming together to exchange ideas and skills and collaborations proved the key to the success of weeks ahead. Social Media, Action Research & Awareness Raising teamed up and began putting in action for the planned Job Fair at the Football For Hope Centre.

 

By Tuesday we had 12 businesses that agreed to partake in the Job Fair, the plan being that they present their business and allow the public to come along, meet and greet the business owners and bosses, and potentially apply for a vacancy. The action research team found a great number of vacancies, with over 30 job vacancies recorded.

 

Social media team continued their work pushing the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to help raise awareness, which appears to be positive.

 

The Training Committee did well this week, with teaching timetables well on the way to completion and lesson plans being drawn up as we speak. They plan to include confidence-building lessons which will be a great life skill for the children of cape coast to build on to aid their future. Overall the second week has been very positive and we are all determined to keep up the momentum to ensure we make the very most out of our time here in Cape Coast.

 

Core Program

On Saturday, the 16th of May, the team took part in the core programme which received massive turnout compared to the previous week. This time around, volunteers independently handled the entire core programme after being assisted by staff from the football for hope center during the first core programme.

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The core programme, which started at 6:30am and ended at 9:30am was in three sessions: the health aspect, which was about HIV/AIDs, the social aspect that was on violence and the soccer aspect that was on ball joggling. In all, a total of 80 kids were present for the core programme with (five) 5 of them being girls and 75 boys.

week 1 fauziya & Katie

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1st My Culture Day by

Week 1 Fauziya & Katie

Akwaba! (welcome) We arrived in Ghana on the 1st may 2015, we knew we were here when we finally got outside and we were sweating in places we didn’t know we had. Random men were coming up to us and we had no idea who was actually meant to be in our group. We were waiting around for a while for the bus and we realised that the driver was running their version of GMT (Ghana Maybe Time) so pretty much when they feel like it.

We arrived at the Suma court hotel, hot, sweaty and tired. Yet the ICVs greeted us with lots of energy and enthusiasm. We were finally able to relax in the knowledge we didn’t have any more planes to catch and would have flushing toilets and decent showers for a few days at least. The in country orientation was pretty intense but it gave us time to chill and meet the people we would be spending the next 10 weeks with.

We finally left for our placements on the 4th May. It took us around 4 hours to get there as we had to drop off the others at Cape Coast on the way. The coach was pretty nice as it was the last time we would have reliable air con for a long time. We arrived at our destination at around 7 o clock, it was pitch black and we all fumbled for torches and deet as we were greeted by what seemed like millions of little hands and calls of “hello! What is your name?” something we would hear continually during our first week (and every week after). Our host families found us and we started the walk to what would be our new homes for the next 10 weeks. We arrived at our new homes and had our first meal, we spoke to our host parents and raised any health/food requirements we had (2 of the vegetarians were given beef on the first night). After eating we went to our rooms and started the long process of melting and experiencing “lights off” (where electricity is turned off throughout the village and is a very common occurrence) not so much lights on, lights off, more lights off…lights still off.

The following morning and our first proper day in Abro we awoke to the sounds of goats, chickens and other types of kids. We all went to the market with our host mums and experienced the new sights, sounds, and smells of Ghana. Some nice, some…not so much.

After the market we came back to Abro, managing to survive the various forms of transport available to us. We ate lunch and explored the village, finding where our fellow volunteers lived and just getting a feel for the place.

The following evening we ventured to the beach for a bonfire where we played various games and chilled, taking in the night sky and being able to see the stars without the usual light pollution that the UKV’s experience.

Most of the first days were spent getting to know the area and planning the upcoming project and learning what our aims would be over the coming weeks. On one of the evenings our team leaders took us on a community tour where we saw Abro from up high and the main features it has to offer (salt pans, rubbish tips, and the elders palace) I know how dire this must sound, but this really is a beautiful place.

Every Thursday we have something which is called “my culture day” it is a day where two people from each group of volunteers teach the others something about their culture. The first one was by two icvs and was called “naming ceremony among the akans” where for an hour they told us about how they name children in their region of Ghana.

On Friday morning, we went the to the chiefs palace. We met the chief and the elders (an aptly named group of men). We talked about our activities and plans for the next 10 weeks. We sought for the chief and his elders’ advice and support on some of our intended programs, especially on sanitation and health screening. We were served with some (soft) drinks and biscuits to which we thanked the chief for his welcome. After the palace we went back to the office where we had our first KWIK session (know what I know) which is where two people tell you about stuff that, well, they know. It was run by our team leaders Rachel and Agnes. Rachel taught us how to breather properly and to get the most out of our voices, and Agnes told us about introverts and extroverts.

On the Saturday we were shown about the community and it was split into zones for our community engagement.

We are starting to look forward to the next few weeks and will keep you posted!

Cycle 6 – Week 1 by Reuben, Tony & Sabiha

On the 1st of May, 2015 the ICV’s (In-Country Volunteers) reported for the In-Country Orientation Training, as well as waiting for their counterparts from the United Kingdom, known as UKV’s. Around 6pm all the ICV’s were in. They all had dinner, took some pictures, and then waited for the rest of the family to arrive.

Our country director for Lattitude ICS, Mr Henry Cartey, informed everyone that the Team Leaders had gone to the Airport to pick up our new brothers and sisters. During that time, the ICV’S did a rehearsal of our song and poem to welcome them officially the next day. It wasn’t long before the bus with the UKV’s arrived, and so the ICV’s were tasked to look for their roommates, help them with their luggage and help them to get ready for their dinner after their long journey. The 1st statement as they stepped off the bus came from Ahmad, one of Abrobiano’s new volunteers, “Man your country is hot.”We smiled as they were welcomed to Ghana.

Freedom and Justice Park - Accra City Tour

Freedom and Justice Park – Accra City Tour

 The next day, 2nd of May was a fun day. It began with the ICV’s welcoming the UKV’s with an ‘Akwaaba song’ from Alabaster Box (Ghanaian Acappeler group), and a poem to round it up. The UKV’s were impressed and showed love by doing the theme song of Fresh Prince of Bel Air (Will Smith). It was then time for the Accra city tour. After breakfast we got ready for the tour, which lasted for approximately 4 hours and tour in the Craft Centre, as well as Black Star Square.

Fresh Prince of Bel Air - In-Country Orientation

Fresh Prince of Bel Air – In-Country Orientation

On the 3rd of March we were introduced to our counterpart pairings, our new brothers and sisters for the next ten weeks. After our counterpart pairings were decided, and sections on our security, health and safety, we also got to know about our host homes for the next 10 weeks. After the hard day’s work, it was time for a PARTY!!! We had fun all night. It was also the birthday of UKV, Joseph, which was celebrated in the usual Ghanaian style, with many bottles of water being emptied over his head!

Joseph's (UKV) Birthday during In-Country Orientation

Joseph’s (UKV) Birthday during In-Country Orientation

 After all the fun and learning we got ready and left for Cape Coast on the 4th of May 2015. We arrived in Cape Coast late on Monday night, where we were picked up by our host families. We all settled in missing each other on our first night alone!

The next day we arrived bright and early at the office and were shown around the local community. The week mainly consisted of admin tasks, being shown around, and we were all given our roles for the cycle. We have all started our planning for our main projects for cycle 6. This includes setting up the Job Centre educational classes which the cycle before us started, and the rebirth of the street league.

We ended the week on a high, spending the weekend at Cape Coast Castle, learning more about Ghana’s rich history, and after we cooled off with a trip to “Da Breeze” beach.

Team Cape at Cape Coast Castle

Team Cape at Cape Coast Castle

 

Volunteer Profile: Cycle 3 – Joy Sampson

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Name: Joy Sampson

Age: 18

What were you doing before ICS: I am currently on my gap year between Alevels and university, so before ICS I was working at the Harry Potter studios teaching people how to ride broomsticks. Alongside this I helped in my local primary school with the reception class assisting to colour in princesses and build with Lego.

3 facts about you: I had the opportunity to fly a Tutor aircraft during aerobatics. I competed in National Athletic finals twice with schools. I finished the Tough Guy Assault course in Wolverhampton, one of the world’s most demanding survival ordeals which involved walking through fire, crawling in potholes and swamps- all after a cross country run.

Which ICS Groups are you in?: I’m in Sports and Monitoring and evaluation

Favourite Experience on ICS so far: My favourite experience of the project so far has got to be the night we spent performing at Candos where we all thrived off each other’s positive energy. It was lovely to support each other and witness the hard work paying off as we presented a meaningful message to the community. As well as this, driving through the safari at Kwantu was beautiful and eye opening to the see animals in their natural habitat- especially the elephants and giraffes.

What have you been doing this week?: This week the sports team hosted a soccer tournament at the local primary school where we had an array of activities for children such as facepainting, dance performances, music and a lot more. It was a successful day which ended with the ICS girls playing the local girls team! Aside from that, we performed at Candos Arts centre where some of us acted, others sang and I performed a poem addressing the issues surrounding alcohol and substance abuse. It was an exciting evening and the showcase of arts really brought to light how much talent the group holds.

Volunteer Profile: Cycle 3 – Pierrot Lee (TL)

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Name: Pierrot Lee

Age: 23

What Were You Doing Before ICS?: As Team Leader before this current cycle (cycle 3) I was in South Africa for cycle 2. I’ve been in South Africa for 6 months now and well and truly feel like I’ve been a Township boy my whole life. But in reality I haven’t, before this I was completing my Master’s in International Development. Volunteering with ICS as a way to gain experience for a future career in International Development.

3 Facts About You: I volunteered with ICS before Team Leadering in Palestine, I keep trying to learn languages in the countries I go to (Arabic, Xhosa, Mandarin, Italian) but then I leave and forget them, I was shot in the ear when I was 13

Which ICS Groups Are You In?: As Team Leader I like to think Im in all the groups

Favourite Experience on ICS So Far?: Singing in Xhosa in front of a local audience and having countless people point, laugh and stare shocked at my ‘flawless’ pronunciation.

What Have You Been Doing This Week? This week has been busy and varied as ever. The amazing thing about working on this project is that every day is different and I constantly find myself doing different things. On Saturday I was at a local networking breakfast for an organisation that works locally in Walmer and other Townships with the youth. The next day all the team were volunteering at the Port Elizabeth Ironman Triathlon, collecting bikes and handing out medals. After that busy weekend on Monday I spend the day working with kids from Khaya

Volunteer Profile: Cycle 3 – Robert Mohale (TL)

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Name: Robert Mohale

Age: 27

What Were You Doing Before ICS?: Before I applied for ICS, i was just sited at home waiting for my BAHonoursin Psychology results. Then I saw an advert on internet for volunteering post for latitude ICS. Then I applied and called for interview wherein I became successful.

3 Facts About You?: I love working with young people, empathetic and treat people with the same respect. I have honours degrees in Youth development and Psychology.

Which ICS Groups Are You In?: I am the team leader for Latittude ICS (Human Dignity Center).
Favorite Experience on ICS So Far?: My favorite experience in the placement is when the Latittude ICS (HDC)co-host the night with Candoz art center wherein all the group members have participated on various acts such as poetry, drama, and singing.

What Have You Been Doing This Week?: This week I have been having meetings with all the groups, checking all their plans and ensuring that they finalize everything that they have planned in these two weeks left.

Volunteer Profile: Cycle 3 – Malibongwe Boyi

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Name: Malibongwe Boyi

Age: 21

What Were You Doing Before ICS?: I wasn’t doing anything I was still job hunting, but the main aim was to go back to school which is college and do studies on Nursing

3 Facts About You: I’m a nice guy who is always humble, I’m not a patient person and I’m very shy but I love people and I’m just an easy person to get and I’m easy to interact with, but I love having fun.

Which ICS Groups Are You In?: Sports group and Social Activities

Favourite Experience on ICS So Far: My favourite moment so far in the project was when we as the sport team hosted a mini 5-aside soccer tournament which was called Summer Imbizo, it was held on the 21st of March 2015 at John Masiza Primary School. I really enjoyed it because we did well and it was fun with the help of other volunteers though and I was the referee for the day, which I refereed almost all the games

What Have You Been Doing This Week?: Last week Monday I went to HDC to teach the kids in the Creative class and for the rest of the week I was in Jerusalem Ministries which is our office and on Sunday we as the volunteers we went to an event called IRON MAN which we went to volunteer and help out on the event everyone enjoyed it including myself Sunday was just a perfect and awesome.

Volunteer Profile: Cycle 3 – Mandilakhe Yaka

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Name: Mandilakhe Yaka

Age: 24

What were you doing before ICS?:I was managing a group called Shizzo Manizzo in Grahamstown(Vukani Location), where we express ourselves through Art(Hip Hop, Poerty, Soul/Gospel and being Dj’s). As I am a Poet so I was performing almost every Saturday near the Town Hall and also having events so that the voices of the youth could heard.

3 facts about you: I like working with the youth to take them away from the wrong paths and let them use their God given talents, To toil is what I like most and get the job done.,I am a Poet and a DJ.

Which ICS Groups are you in?: I’m in the Culture and Video groups

Favourite Experience on ICS So Far: When we successfuly held the Candoz event.

What Have You Been Doing This Week?: This week we’ve been busy organising the event for the Pre-Candoz and also trying to book an apointment with the Department of Arts&Culture as the Culture group.