Lattitude Blog

Week 8 Blog Post by Bismark & Scott

This week officially started on Tuesday due to the visit to Adaklu after MPR taking up most of the Monday. Active Citizenship Day started at 11am with Bayala and Scott delivering their presentation on the topic of “Diversity and Working together”, where they touched on Diversity, Discrimination, Identity, Law and Solutions. It was a very insightful presentation which got the whole team contributing to the topic to make an informed debate. After the “Active Citizenship Day” presentation, we had a short team meeting to discuss both the objectives of the week and the objectives of the project. This helped many of our groups to refocus and figure out the best ways in which to achieve our self-set team goals.

The ‘Street League’ finally started on Tuesday afternoon with volunteers helping out as managers and technical bench staff. This was a great experience for volunteers as they managed their various teams and got to see what livlihood skills they would be teaching them from week to week. The homework sessions continued to run at the same time with other volunteers whose teams were not playing on the day teaching their respective classes happily.

Street League Participants (Cape Deaf Team)

Street League Participants (Cape Deaf Team)

Street League

Street League










Midweek greeted us with extension of core program at St. Monica’s Girls school as we delivered sessions in areas of health, social and soccer with 48 girls participating in all activities. Always a joy delivering these sessions as these childrens are being impacted with life lessons through soccer. This visit to St Monica’s in particular was made all the better when girls from different year groups approached us at the end of the session to request we also run their P.E. classes.We reported back to the office after the sessions and did committee works, cut sachets to make rings for the next set of goal post and went straight to the center for the homework session as usual.

Extension of Core Program in St. Monica's Girls School

Extension of Core Program in St. Monica’s Girls School

Thursday started with “My Culture Day” presentation by Ashley and Dora. Ashley took the platform first to enlighten us about Newcastle and London but based it mainly on West Sussex. She presented in areas of Sports, Burns Night, Random facts, Famous people, Goodwood, Ale, Morris dancing, Piazza Italia and Troon.Dora continued with a presentation on the Ga Homowo festival where she stated the history of the Homowo festival and its significance. We continued the day with committee meetings and set off to the center for homework session.

Dora Appiah Kubi in her beautiful outfit telling us about her culture (Ga people)

Dora Appiah Kubi in her beautiful outfit telling us about her culture (Ga people)

Friday also greeted us with another extension of core program at st. Monicas at exactly 8:30am to deliver another session to a different set of girls. We came back to the office to have a short team meeting, went to the center for core program training and officiated free play session. The free play session saw some volunteers (Oli, Bayala & Scott) teach handball for the first time this cycle. The session appeared to run very well with the children thoroughly enjoying a change of sport. This week actually went by quickly reminding us of how much more we need to do and the end of the cycle approaching like a raccoon.

Cycle Two – Week 8 in Adaklu District

Monday morning saw the Adaklu team bid farewell to the rest of the ICS volunteers that they had hosted after Mid Placement Review-(MPR) but not before the ladies of the team cooked a hearty breakfast of omelette and pancakes for the 55 strong volunteers. The boys also managed to squeeze in one last early morning football match, which again saw the Ada/Abro team beat the Cape Coast team. Due to a severe lack of sleep the previous night, and as a treat for all our hosting efforts, our project co-ordinator gave the team a day off to rest up for the rest of the week, and all farming group meetings were reassigned. This resulted in mass relocation of majority of the volunteers to the team communal area, where mattresses were gathered for a team bonding nap (some volunteers opted to watch movies instead).


Volunteers Chilling out


Back to business on Tuesday!Our Active Citizens Day was rescheduled to that day due to our day off on Monday. ICV Bella and UKV Kitt educated the group on sanitation and the proper way in which to wash their hands. They supplied buckets and soap for the volunteers to all have a go!Our team leaders for the day were UKV Tilly and ICV Richard, and they hosted the weekly team meeting. During this our farmer groups and sub-groups gave updates to the rest of the team. The upcoming group trip to Cape Coast was also discussed and the team clarified the teaching rota for Anfoe and Waya basic school for the rest of the cycle. During the meeting the team were informed that the Agric officer (TO) would be taking over all the training and teaching for the farming groups. Star Volunteer of the week went to UKV Meghan for her contribution to the M&E team, and counterpart pair of the week went to ICV Amy and UKV Chloe!


Volunteers learning how to make beads


On Wednesday, the groundnut group had training on marketing and branding with TO and so are prepared now to teach their farmers on the importance of good marketing and branding techniques.The team also had a First Aid meeting today, hosted by UKV Kitt Owen, to plan for the Lattitude ICS First Aid community sessions. The meeting was attended by medical staff from the local clinic, who briefed the volunteers on the correct way to treat ailments with resources available locally. The Kente group also met and were able to discuss what direction training will move in future. Today’s social was hosted by UKV Tilly and ICV Shawukiya -they lead the team in a game of headbands that had everyone in good spirits. Shawukiya made the volunteers a local drink from her northern region, and it definitely cleared the system, the ginger and chilli giving the drink a firey boost!


Adult Education session ongoing


Thursday morning saw the volunteers meet with the Vegetable and Maize farmers in Waya for training sessions. UKV Alex hosted today’s My Culture Day, focusing on the American cultural due to his family heritage from New York. He gave a brief history of the continent, covering the discovery of America to the civil and international wars, and we’re sure we speak for all the volunteers when we say we all learnt something! His use of clips from movies to show the American stereotype raised many a chuckle from the volunteers. The vegetable group met today, and the volunteers helped the farmers fill out the second baseline survey. The Groundnut Anfoe group also met with their farmers today and coached them on good agricultural practices. The First Aid committee also met this evening to finalise the plans for the First Aid sessions, and were able to plan the volunteer’s roles and the resources needed for the events.


Friday was a busy day in camp!! The morning started with our Project Co-ordinator accidentally locking himself and two volunteers in their bedroom. After a few phone calls, some tinkering and a visit from a local carpenter, they were all able to get free in time to ensure everyone got their weekly allowance! Planning and Logistics team met this morning to discuss and plan the Lattitude ICS awareness event on Marketing and Branding, and lots of progress was made on that front, with the volunteers getting more excited as the event approaches. The monitoring and evaluation team were also busy today, finalising the analysis and report on another Baseline survey carried out amongst the registered farmer groups. Today’s KWIK was hosted by UKV Sara and ICV Amy. Amy led a session on how to make bead bracelets, something enjoyed by all volunteers, and Sara led a session on self-defence, something taken too seriously by some volunteers!!All in all, the KWIK was a huge success and wholly enjoyed by all. Friday evening saw a few of the UKVs and ICVs take a trip to Waya to record an announcement for the community PA system promoting the First Aid events, the first of which was to be hosted that Sunday!


Saturday morning saw another early morning football session for the boys and Sara and Christabel, as the team prepare for a rematch against the Cape Coast team in a few weeks’ time. ICV Amy hosted another beading session with UKVs and ICVs to teach those interested more techniques. The team met in the afternoon to discuss the First Aid event the next day, and the whole team were briefed on their roles and how the event was to play out. ICV Alberta continued with her adult education lessons today, and had 5 community members turn up, keen to learn the alphabet and basic maths. The safety and security met after adult education to do a risk assessment for the First Aid event that Sunday. Saturday saw the wrapping up of the last of the volunteers one-to-one catch ups with the team leaders, and thankfully everything is ticking along nicely!


volunteers demonstrating on first aid


The team met at 11am on Sunday to finalise plans for First Aid event occurring in Waya that day. Following lunch the volunteers who had trained in beads met with 5 ladies from the local community who are interested in learning how to make bead jewellery. Then, everyone packed up and headed to Waya to set up the church and also visit the local community to put out an invite to the event. The First Aid event was intended to educate farmers on how to treat basic and common wounds to enable them to continue work if they injured themselves. Subsequently, the topics covered were: heavy bleeding, nose bleeds, cuts and grazes, ‘stop, drop and roll’, burns, dog and snake bites, and epilepsy. These topics were broken into sessions, each hosted by 3 volunteers; one volunteer describing the accident and how to treat it, one volunteer acting as the casualty upon which first aid was administered, and one volunteer translating for the attendees. There was a good turn-out at the event, and the participants seemed to find it educational and useful. Due to a busy week, all had an early night before starting it all again next week!!!

Meghan and Christabel


Abrobiano Cycle 7 – Week 7

Mid project review provided a welcome break for all the Abrobiano team; the warm showers and flushing toilets was a pleasant change from buckets of water and holes in the ground. The weekend was spent discussing the progress of each of the projects, with volunteers receiving updates on things in Adaklu and Cape Coast, as well as sharing the successes and difficulties experienced by Abrobiano Cycle 7. In a way similar to the visit of the Cape Coast team some weeks previous, hearing of the issues of others made us each appreciate our own group more. Despite occasional difficulties, the team has remained strong and united throughout the project, something we are very thankful for.



After two nights in relative luxury, we departed the hotel, waving tearfully goodbye to the swimming pool and heading to Adaklu with the rest of the Lattitude volunteers. For the UK Volunteers, each journey through Ghana is an exciting chance to see a little more of the country, if only through the dusty windows of a minibus, and it was quite a treat to see the change of scenery the Volta region provided. What remained of Sunday was spent touring around the Adaklu project, which is spread across a whole district rather than just one community like ours, although the numbers of people reached are quite similar. Attempts to play football were disturbed by declining sunlight and we returned to our host homes for the night, with those keen to see the result of the rivalry between Cape Coast and the other two projects pledging to resume the game bright and early the next morning. The evening was filled with a celebration organized by the Adaklu team; music, games, great food and even better company meant that many volunteers did not head to bed until the early hours.


Despite the late night, Monday saw an early start with teams heading to the football pitch to continue the previous day’s fight. The eventual 1-0 victory by the combined Adaklu-Abrobiano team over Cape Coast was a welcome change from the repeated defeats of the past. After breakfast prepared by the Adaklu volunteers, it was sadly time for us to say goodbye and head back to the Central region. Thankfully, we escaped the engine trouble that had plagued our journey on Friday and we were back in Abrobiano by dark. Although we had been staying in easier conditions the past few nights, we all agreed that it was nice to be home.

Tuesday we returned to work on the project. We continue to teach 16 hours a week in the local schools on the weekly topic, but as the programme progresses we are busier and busier with other concerns as well. This week’s topic, for those class groups old enough, was sexual reproductive health, something I (Robbie) particularly enjoyed teaching. Such an important subject is unlikely to be covered by Ghanaian teachers and many in the community either have very little knowledge of the basics or are uncomfortable talking about them. I found my JHS students were particularly keen to learn more and were very attentive. Being able to plan our own lessons meant we also could include vital topics such as consent, which is still not even thoroughly covered in the UK and is a real concern in Ghana, with 1 in 4 young women reportedly being coerced into sex against their will at some point.


Outside of teaching, the programme is well and truly moving now; as well as organizing further infrastructure projects, volunteers are busy planning surveys of the community to assess the overall impact of Lattitude ICS, preparing for upcoming events and much more.  Each week is busier and busier and passes more and more quickly; the project end seems terrifyingly close now, a mere four weeks away.


The rest of the week continued in much the same way, with progress being affected at times by continuing power issues. All part of the fun of being in Ghana and something we have all learnt to deal with! Wednesday evening saw this week’s social at Bernadine and Sarah’s house. Far more chilled out than other socials, with less music and more conversation, an enjoyable evening was had by all with the help of the homemade spring rolls the hosts had provided.

On Thursday, hard work continued and the action research team explained the survey that was to be conducted the following morning, whilst it was the turn of Sarah and Robbie to present their My Culture Day (MCD) to the group. Sarah shared her home city of Preston and the North West, giving an insight into the cultural history of the region; whilst Robbie spent time talking about the joys of Northampton, including an insight into the local music scene, and Hull, ‘the most poetic city in England’. That evening the group celebrated Deladem’s 25th birthday, the first of two birthdays this week. Plans to dance the night away had been disrupted by an ankle injury suffered by Dela during the demolishing of Cape Coast in the football, so instead songs were sung and he was treated to a fish supper cooked by Abrobiano’s culinary queen, Vivian.


The following morning the team separated into their community engagement groups and surveyed the locals on the topic of sanitation and recycling. Competition within the team meant that a huge number of villagers were asked, with a more positive response to questions being received than expected. That afternoon Bernadine and Robbie travelled to the University of Cape Coast. Having never visited a Ghanaian university before, the trip was particularly enjoyed by Robbie, with the three-taxi journey providing another opportunity to see a little more of Ghana. Hawkers sprinting to sell their wares to passengers at every stop and the negotiating more and more passengers into an already cramped mini-bus was an awesome experience. The university campus itself was huge, far too large to travel on foot, but not really that different to universities at home.


The intention of the trip was to speak with the fisheries department about the possibility of a guest speaker coming to speak at the Farmers Day event taking place in a couple of weeks time. Farmers Day is a national event in Ghana that celebrates the efforts of fishermen and farmers to feed the population. Last year volunteers celebrated those in Abrobiano, seizing the opportunity to also engage them on a number of health topics, and we hope to build on those successes this year.The pair returned just in time to catch the end of Jack’s MCD presentation, this time on the wonders of Scarborough and Yorkshire.

The week ended with the whole team sat in our own open-air cinema (a laptop and crowd of plastic chairs) for Sellet’s birthday. Enjoyed with groundnuts, bananas and of course the second birthday cake in as many days; we watched what we could of the film before the showing was bought to an end by the inevitable power cut and subsequent deaths of not one but two laptop batteries.  The film itself was a Bollywood creation; what an amazing world we live in – a group of Ghanaian and British volunteers sat in a Ghanaian fishing village, watching an Indian film on a laptop made in China!



Cycle Two – Week 7 in Adaklu District

Hello, Tilly and Esenam here! Tilly is a UK volunteer and Essie a Ghanaian volunteer from the Volta region! We will be writing the blog for this week, enjoy.

The week has been very busy as we had our Mid-Placement Review (MPR) at the end of the week so there was a lot preparation. The week started with volunteers teaching at Anfoe Junior high school, followed by Active Citizenship Day by Rahim and Sara on the topic of Globalization and environment. They spoke about 3 main subjects being water, climate change and renewable resources. There was a meeting with the local maize farmers where they filled out our baseline survey, for us to evaluate their progression and skills knowledge and their livelihood capacities.

rahim-sara acd

Most of the team had an early football training session on Tuesday morning along with the team leaders and project co-coordinator, practicing for our match at the weekend! The maize team also had a visit to the farm of their chairman. Meghan and Essie were our team leaders for the day, they held our weekly team meeting where we discussed and confirmed plans for the weekend. The meeting was well organized and everyone was satisfied with decisions made within the meeting.

A training session was provided by Technical Officer George for the groundnut and vegetable groups. The kente group had a meeting with volunteers and Derick our co-coordinator to clear up some issues regarding group members and lessons. The rest of the meeting was spent filling out the baseline survey and Kitt, a UK volunteer, done some filming of our meeting for our midpoint review video. Later in the evening it was Rahim and Alex’s social held at their house, it was a bonfire night with lots of fun and interesting games. They served cooked maize, popcorn and a local drink called sobolo. It was a very nice social event and we were graced with the presence of our co-coordinator.

Groundnut and Maize groups woke up very early for a meeting in Waya with their farmers however none of them turned up. My culture day was delivered by Alberta a Ghanaian volunteer representing the Western region of Ghana. She gave interesting information and facts about the region and also spoke on the puberty rite and displayed local food which was mashed yam with 2 eggs. In the afternoon after lunch the whole team had a cleanup exercise at the blue house, preparing for our visitors at the weekend. The vegetable group went to the District Assembly with team leaders and co-coordinator to register the Waya vegetable group. In the evening a groundnut meeting was held in Anfoe where one of the farmers taught the group how to prepare a local snack called ‘dzowe’ which is made from groundnut and various spices.IMG-20151112-WA0002[1]

On Friday a meeting was held with members of the Social Welfare Department from the district assembly, who are our project partners. We were told about the work that they have done and work they are planning to do in the future alongside us, it was an opportunity for us to find out specifics on what they do for the community and address any concerns and ask questions to find out if the work is in line with the work provided through Lattitude. Around midday the team left for MPR (midpoint review) at the Sky Plus hotel in Ho, the capital of the Volta region. The volunteers entered the premises where we were greeted by other volunteers from Abrobriano and Cape Coast. It was so lovely to see other friends and volunteers after 7 weeks. There was time for catching up and pool party after lunch! The rest of the night volunteers were able to do their own thing, we all sat down together beside the pool and with a spectacular view over the city of Ho for dinner. Saturday started with a scrumptious breakfast and a dip in the pool before starting our sessions for the day. Our team leaders held the first session on our journey so far with ICS. It was a very in depth and refreshing session. The rest of the sessions from Saturday to Sunday was for us to find out how the other projects have come along so far and their plans for the remaining time here in Ghana. It was fun and interesting to see what everyone had gotten up to in their projects the past 7 weeks. We were also given the opportunity to assess our team leaders, co-coordinators and our experience with ICS Lattitude so far.

maize farm visit


Once our midpoint review had officially finished all teams set off on the journey back here to Adaklu Waya for them to see and experience life here in Ada! We first showed our guests around a few places in Waya before bringing them to our host homes in Anfoe where they’ll be dining and spending the night. We all went to Amuzu-Wembley, a little village next to Anfoe, for a football match where our team won against Cape Coast!! GO DREAM TEAM! The evening was spent at the blue house with lots of food on the barbeque, lots of drinks including local sobolo, popcorn and music all night! We played games and we won, again, at forming the best and quickest human pyramid. People stayed up late, till daybreak, socializing and having fun with fellow volunteers. The Ada girls prepared a mighty breakfast, whilst the boys were playing football, which cape coast lost again! Everyone enjoyed our breakfast of toasted omelette sandwiches, pancakes, tea and coffee! We were sad to say goodbye to everybody and tears were shed.



Overall we had a very busy but productive week, we are all feeling very refreshed and positive after MPR, seeing how much we have all accomplished and come so far in the past 7 weeks. It has left us feeling very good for the next 5 weeks to come and end our time here on a high!


Love Tilly and Essie

Week 7 Blog Post By Oli & Daniel

On Monday half the team went to St Nicholas to run the extension core programme which went very successfully and the other half with the Awareness Team (Scott, Oli, Senam, Macafui and Dora) distributed posters around the area which our event was taking place in, sticking the posters up with starch. We also had our usual Team meeting to discuss the week ahead and planning for Mid Project Review (MPR)

Event Poster

Event Poster

On Tuesday we ran our first Awareness Event, Better YOUth, which was very successful. We had over 130 attendances which sat under our two provided canopies. Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana PPAG very kindly came and gave a talk on sexual health for us at the event. Ewurama, our co-coordinator, also gave a talk on business. At the event we also gave out questionnaires and worked with young people to fill them out. The questionnaires were about whether people were employed, had children, were married and whether they were interested in becoming involved with our soap making project in the coming weeks.

Cross section of the crowed at the Event

Cross section of the crowed at the Event

Resource Personnel giving a talk on sexual health at the Event

Resource Personnel from PPAG giving a talk on sexual health at the Event

We ran the Extension of the Core Programme at St Monica’s Girls School in the morning which was very enjoyable and the children we worked with seemed to get a lot out of the sessions we conducted.

We talked more on our plans and preparation for Mid Project Review and started to bring things together for our team presentation. We also had an Active Citizenship Day (ACD) presentation by Noma (UKV) and Saani (ICV) on Poverty and Inequity which was very enlightening and interesting to listen to. We went up to the Football For Hope Centre (FFHC) and ran the homework club.

We had a Culture Presentation on Thursday by Noma (UKV) and Senam (ICV). Noma presented on Zimbabwe; her birthplace and home for 12 years, and Senam presented on Volta Region, with aid from Desmond, Bismack and Makafui. Both presentations were fantastic and very interesting and lots of people had questions for the presenters.

We finished and went through our presentation for Mid Project Review. The presentation as a whole showed us just how much we have achieved so far and gave us the opportunity to see where we are going in regards to moving forward as a team and closing in our aims.

On Friday we left early on our journey to Volta Region for Mid Project Review.



Cycle Two – week 6 in Adaklu district

The Adaklu Livelihood Project has really begun to pick up pace in week 6 with all volunteers working very hard. A number of us started the week teaching our assigned classes in Anfoe & Waya basic schools, which will continue up to 3 times throughout the week.
The group all came together later on Monday for our weekly Active Citizenship Day which this week concentrated on peace and conflict as presented by Chloe & Shawukiya. They touched on the definition and benefits of peace as well as causes of conflict. We were also able to learn a variety of interesting facts on the topic via the form of a quiz.
With our second event coming up our Planning & Logistics team met to start preparing for the event on Marketing & Branding which will be hosted in Waya later this cycle.
Each Monday the Maize team meet with the groups resource person, Mr Emmanuel, prior to the groups lesson. Today, the team prepared and delivered on the correct dosage of agro-chemicals.
Team leaders have also been working closely with community members interested in learning the skill of pastries. We are pleased that the decision has now been made for us to help these individuals register their group.
Tuesday is usually a free day for volunteers as we do not meet until late afternoon for our team meeting. This is to be lead by a different pair each week as part of the one-day team leader platform. During this meeting Monitoring and Evaluation announced results of the baseline survey conducted last week in Waya. We also received updates from each livelihood team with their past weeks activities. Following this, we discussed side projects as suggested by volunteers. One side project currently underway is First Aid training for group members as suggested by Kitt following a lesson on safety precautions on the farm.
On Wednesday, volunteers responsible for the Ground nut and Vegetable groups met with the agricultural extension officer for training on good agricultural practice, farm specifics. Kente team also met with their group of Kente weavers to discuss their goals and objectives for the rest of the cycle.
Every Wednesday evening, volunteers take turns to host social events, thanks to the kindness of our host families. This week was the turn of Meghan & Winnifred. Together we played some fun games, drank sobolo, then ate fresh fruit and lots of popcorn!
Thursday began with an early meeting in Waya with the Vegetable group. The team facilitated their second lesson, on tomatoes planting and seedlings.
Thursday’s are the day the team meets for My Culture Day. Amy Joan from Ghana, presented the history of the Central Region in beautiful clothing and shared with us all information on the tourist sites, festivals celebrated as well as sharing a local delicacy of Kenke & hot pepper with fish that she had prepared for us.


Maize team had their second meeting with the groups resource person for the training on the next lesson – good agricultural practice. The team has all been invited to Mr Emmanuel’s farm to assist with this topic which will be arranged over the next week.
Shortly after Maize team had finished their meeting, the Ground nut team met with the farming group to deliver their lesson on good agricultural practice.
A group of volunteers were up early Friday morning to visit the Ground nut farm belonging to the secretary of Anfoe Groundnut group. During the 30 minute walk the group passed a lot of other farms with varying crops. Once at the Ground nut farm, volunteers were shown how crops are planted manually with a Ho and how to weed. Many volunteers then helped to weed small sections of the farm before moving on to learn about how to tell the difference between red and white Ground nuts using the size of the plant and colour of leaves.


Later that day, volunteers responsible for the newly formed Ground nut group in Amuzudeve met with the farmers to present them their constitution. As a good will gesture, the group members gifted the team with a variety of food stuffs which was a gratefully received and most generous surprise.


Each Friday pairs of volunteers are given the opportunity to share with the group something they know, refered to as ‘KWIK’. This week Ruby and Christabel presented overcoming obstacles beginning with an obstacle course outside to energize the group before moving on to their presentation.
On Saturday, some volunteers woke up as early as 5am to jog to neighboring community, Waya. Following this there was a training session at Anfoe football pitch for an upcoming match. Boys and girls!
Although a social evening had been planned, this had to be cancelled due to a power cut, known as dumsor in Ghana.
We ended the week with the introduction to a second baseline survey. M&E met to discuss and later distribute the survey which focuses on the effectiveness of training provided to groups. Both Maize and Ground nut had meetings in Waya today so were able to start collecting information.


Week 6 has been both challenging and interesting for the entire team and we are all really excited about the work we are doing.

Thank you for reading and check back next week for more update.

Ruby and Rahim

Cycle Two – Week 5 in Adaklu district

Monday 26th October – Monday morning began with Meghan and Amy’s turn to host their Active Citizen Day. Their topic was all about Water. Over their presentation they discussed water sanitation, pollution, sources, diseases and prevention, all led by a fantastic short drama in which Amy was diagnosed with diarrhoea. This was then followed by a short quiz discussing how much water is used domestically worldwide. The Maize group met the chief maize farmer, who gave them training on safe use of Agro-chemicals. After training was complete they then met with the rest of the maize farmers to pass on all that they had learnt.



Active Citizen Day #ACD about Water &Sanitation- a short drama on diarrhea

Posted by Lattitude ICS Adaklu Waya on Monday, October 26, 2015

Tuesday 27th October - The Groundnut team woke early for a 5am visit to a local ground nut farmer with the intention of seeing how his produce is farmed and what is entailed. Unfortunately due to a death in the community the farmer was unable to attend the meeting so it was postponed until later in the week.
This week’s Team Leader Platform was hosted by both Kitt and Amy who delivered a well informed and clear presentation. We recapped on the week’s events and got updates from all the farming groups and all the minor groups. We also discussed the Health and Safety group which we are hoping to establish within the next month which will look at training the local farmers and community in basic first aid and safety precautions.


Wednesday 28th October - On Wednesday the Kente group met briefly outside their workplace to establish a meeting for next week. This would be a crucial meeting to determine the direction that the Kente group will be heading in, over the next few weeks and cycles to come.
This was followed by a social hosted by Ruby and Esinam at their home. The social took place outside where we played a variety of games, including “truth or dare” and “dance-offs” and had a variety of refreshments, including Fro-yo!
The evening was widely enjoyed by all and has left big shoes to fill for all those to follow!

Thursday 29th October – The Groundnut Group again woke up early and tried to meet with the farmers for a tour of the farm, but unfortunately the local farmers failed to turn up. The Kente group had better luck and managed to meet with the Vegetable group in Waya at 8am for a fantastic presentation on vegetable cultivation and production.
This week’s My Culture Day was hosted by Meghan who talked about Ireland and N. Ireland. Her topic covered a range of different areas from the giants’ causeway myth to the partition of Ireland and the paramilitary groups. Needless to say, the UKVs were educated just as much as the ICVs were.
After the MCD we all headed outside and proceeded to weave a new net out of the plastic water sachets. This will serve as a new football net which will be Fifa regulation sized… 8ft tall!!!meg mcd

Friday 30th October – This time it was the media teams turn to wake up early. Their day started at 6:00am in Waya to film “A day in the life of a Maize farmer”. The team started by interviewing the farmer at home but then progressed to his farm of 6.5 acres. The farmer was very forthcoming with the interview so provided the media team with plenty of information to go through. We look forward to the edited video!
The Groundnut members visited Amuzudeve to see the local school and to talk with the local farmers there.
This weeks KWIK was hosted by myself (Matt) and Richard. As a change of pace we invited people to choose what they would like to do. As it was raining outside we offered people games inside or games outside. The choice was between Football rounders or Ludo and seemed to be an even split. The session went without a hitch, apart from Sammy slipping on the wet grass.


Sat 31st October - On the Saturday we began the day by attending the Education fund event at Waya primary school. This event was to launch the new education fund across Adaklu and had many esteemed guests. Throughout the morning there were many speeches, dances and dramas performed by the local community. The volunteers all made a donation towards the Education fund on behalf of Lattitude.
Later that afternoon the UKV’s shared their culture day of Halloween by giving the ICV’s a brief history of its origin and a taste of how we celebrate it. This was coupled with a “Thriller” video, in which we enlisted the help of the local children to film a spoof Halloween video.


Sun 1st November - In the morning the M&E team briefed the rest of the volunteers on the survey they would be carrying out later that day. The survey was to establish a baseline percentage of how many people within the community found the Social Welfare Department programmes useful. The team divided into four sections to tackle all areas of Waya and completed all 121 surveys well within the allotted time. Sunday evening was fairly uneventful as the community had another scheduled lights out.


Matt & Shawukiya

Abrobiano Cycle 7-Week 6

The weekend started with a heavy downpour which turned the small streets of Abrobiano into rivers! This is very unusual for this time of the year when rain is really scarce, and though it wasn’t so good for weekend outdoor fun, it’s great for the farmers, and it means the mangoes are ready earlier! It did not stop volunteers from going about their normal Saturday activities such as washing their clothes, cleaning up their rooms and spending time with host families.

By Sunday the sun was back out and so were the people. By 5:30am that morning Jack was already up and ready to go to the farm with his host family(Auntie Sherifa). the fun and excitement of having a new experience came with its own challenges which was having to walk an hour to the farm and ending up with blisters all over his palm. He then helped to weed on the cassava plantation before walking another 30 minutes to pick oranges. The day ended with volunteers meeting at their usual meeting point(polytank) to go sand fetching at the beach side.


The new week began with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm from all volunteers with Mid Placement Review coming up. There was a lot of focus to get things done before Friday. Stephanie and Selorm did their ACD presentation on Peace and conflict: we got to learn from the presentation that peace is not just the absence of war but a state of harmony we should all strive for. Later in the day the whole group went out in their various zones to engage the community on worms. We got to learn the different levels of understanding in the community. In the evening we bid Joe farewell with a bonfire night sharing yogurt and music as well as stories


On Tuesday Sarkodie and Hannah took their turn as team leaders, impressing with their organization and delivery. We had our usual class sessions at 9:15am which went well from the feedback received. it was Joe’s last classroom session before departing which was not a happy scene. We were all very sorry to see him go back to the UK, but wish him well in his recovery and the future. After he left, each of the teams then practised their presentations for MPR which was quite impressive given the time frame we were working within


Wednesday was the busiest day of the week; fetching sand from the beach, pulling water from the well and having fun moving the cement from the shop to the construction site on a 4-wheel truck. We were with the masons all morning and helped them floor the KG veranda. I must say aside it being tough we really enjoyed helping out.





By Thursday we were brimming with excitement for MPR. there was so much energy from the group which translated into things been done. More community engagement was undertaken, which provided more good responses about worms. Later, we had MCD, although Jack wasn’t feeling well so missed his slot. We learnt about Rowen’s culture in Cambridge- the university, the rivalry with oxford, the bikes like bees buzzing through the streets, the strawberry fair and other festivals. We can’t wait to visit! That evening everyone finished packing and got to bed early before the long journey!

On Friday the group met at 4:30 am for the bus, everyone feeling very groggy in the early morning darkness. We picked up the Cape Coast group, then headed to Accra before going North. The journey wasn’t without troubles, with the bus breaking down for about an hour after which we changed buses and continued. We also got held up at the ferry crossing, but this gave us time to sample the local cuisine of the Volta region – ‘Aboloo’ with fried turkey. We arrived at the hotel at around 3 pm, to a lovely lunch and reunion with the Adaklu volunteers. That evening we swam and swam and swam till we were kicked out, then relaxed with more food and music. Ahhhh…MPR


Abro Cycle 7 – Week 5

Week 5 in Abro has flown over; we can hardly believe that our mid-project review is less than a week away! This week, in particular, has been very busy (and rather tiring!) as last weekend Cape Coast came to visit and we held our first event!

The visit from the Cape Coast team proved to be a nice break from our weekly routine, and the external affairs team had big plans for the weekend, but there was a heavy rainstorm which started just as the girl’s football match and continued for the rest of the day, and most of the night. The boys’ team soldiered on in the rain, with most of the UK’Vs saying that the weather made it feel like they were back at home, and although both Abro teams lost we still had a good day and it was very nice to catch up with the Cape Coast team, (but we definitely think more training is needed, so we can definitely beat Cape Coast when we go to visit them in December!)


On Monday the routine went back to normal; our topic of the week was a re-cap all of the issues we had covered on the program so far (malaria, hand washing, skin diseases and recycling). We began the week by carrying out community engagement and planning for our school sessions;


Bernadine and Claire also delivered their ACD, where they discussed human rights. We felt that this week has been very productive; Abro players also had a busy week, as we had to finish the filming of our first video, ‘The Adventures of Mr Sachet’, so it could be edited and completed before the Sanitation event. Hannah and Bernadine also had their MCD, where they told the team about the naming process, and the marriage rites, as practiced in the central region. The main focus of our week, however, was preparing for Cycle 7’s first major event, which happened on the Friday.


Despite getting off to a chaotic start the event ran smoothly, with the student’s participation in the community clean up proving to be successful, although difficult to manage and organize (the peer educators helped a great deal). We also staged two friendly inter-school football matches, with Abrobiano MA primary and JHS winning their matches.


However, the highlight of the day was definitely the workshops in the afternoon, as the school children and the community got the chance to engage in interesting recycling workshops ran by seamstresses from Abro, and the Baobab centre; the children also thoroughly enjoyed our ‘cinema’, where we played a selection of health related videos made by previous cycles, with around 180 of them squeezing into a small classroom to watch them!



Abrobiano – Week 4

Saturday 24th begun with the usual optional yoga sessions at 7am up at the white house near the beach headed by Sara though the entire day was mainly relaxed with anticipation for Sunday’s Abro team day out!

Sunday came swiftly, with a few of us going to the service at St Anthony Catholic church…Sunday best out fits are always something to marvel at. Our meet up for the Komenda market was scheduled for 11:30am at the office so the service had to be cut short. It was a rather bumpy but exciting journey due to the fact that we were having a day out of or new home ‘Abro’.  So much fabric was bought… it is safe to say that the shop keeper was one happy man!! We had a mini tour of the town as well as a few refreshments being devoured due to the sun’s vengeance. The stop off at the shell petrol station on our way back was lovely especially the fact that there was a bbq point with sausages, gizzard and other meats.


The good old Monday was ushered in with various groups giving us an overall update on how they were getting on with the main focus being the events team whose Sanitation event is fast approaching. A very detailed account of the day’s events was reiterated to the entire group, positive feedback was given back from the both the team leaders and Kweku thus setting the ball rolling. Community engagement followed on with the main topic of the week being skin diseases. A few issues were raised about the water being the biggest cause of skin related infections but it was rather lovely when most of them took on board the use of disinfectants such as Dettol for regular use.  Vivian and Robby also gave a good presentation of poverty, which was their topic for action research.


Tuesdays are met by almost all of us teaching our 9:15am lessons on the topic of the week. At this point everyone seems to have gained confidence in their abilities and seem to be enjoying their teaching sessions; I guess it’s due to work balance between the pair’s abilities.

Vivian and Joe are off ill. Tuesdays for some reason unbeknown to us other than superstition, seem to bring with them illness (Tuesday blues) but we never the less keep going regardless.

Wednesdays early start of 8:00am for all of us with WWW sessions on the topic of the week at the three schools’ very flamboyant assemblies.  With the Cape Coast volunteers coming over for night of ‘Abro and chill’ ;), various pairs are given a pair to host at random for the one night as well as a plan for the weekend given to us by external affairs team spear headed by Jack and Deladem.

One huge announcement of the day was that the polytank team (Joe and Selorm) have secured an alternative water supplier for the project. Great work boys!



The group team leaders come to a conclusion that the social being held at our host home this week won’t be taking place due to Vivian’s health so the entire group votes for a more relaxed optional evening of fifa at Jack and Selom’s house or movie night at Robbie and Clintons host home and an early night for those who aren’t keen on either options.

On Thursday, we are a given a glimpse into the culture of Selom and Deladem with exciting history dance and clothing of the Volta region after which Bernadine, Francesca and Kweku head out to Komenda  to meet the group which deals with recycling water sackets through making bags and purses. The infrastructure team gave the group a little heads up on the upcoming building floor project at the MA primary school with entails the team to have a trial sand collecting run for Friday 7:00am from the beach which will continue on into the following week starting Monday  as well as every other day of the week.


It is already Friday…ooh how this week has flown by!! We are all up and early at the poly tank, buckets in hand and ready to hit the beach. Two loads each done and we are off to get ready for the office 9:30am kick off. It is coincidentally our turn to enlighten the group this week on our KWIK. We’re transported into an elaborate Asante dance(adowa) which was led by Vivian and assisted by Sarkodie then into the crochet world of Claire. Then Vivian being the head chef in charge of the Cape coast visit, heads off with Deladem and Sara for the ultimate grocery shopping experience in Cape Coast. (You ask what food is on the menu J ?!)…Jollof rice, kenvivianfried chicken, boiled egg for the vegetarians, salad and juice cocktail! Yummy…bring on the weekend’s misadventures and week 5!!!!!




Vivian and Claire.