Lattitude Blog

Chilumba Week 8

The week started off with the final business training event run by Corey. It was a very successful event, ending with the women singing for us as an expression of gratitude.

The Baking Group had a productive week. They spent Wednesday afternoon making mango and banana jam, both of which were delicious.

The Sewing Group had a sewing training event run by Mrs. Manda. This involved her teaching them different stitching and sewing techniques. On Thursday they held another girl’s club event titled “Growing up & Changing”.

This weeks social was a dance workshop run by The Cultural Dancing Group at Sangilo Lodge. We had our curfew extended to 10:30, so the workshop was followed by a party at Maji Zuwa.

Cycle Two – Week 4 in Adaklu District

Blog Post – week 19th October till 25th – Kitt and Richard

This week we have been very busy here in Adaklu! On Monday morning volunteers continued to teach in both Adaklu Waya and Adaklu Anfoe in JHS and Primary. We are now three weeks into teaching and are really getting to know all our pupils and are getting stuck in with tricky subjects like Prime Numbers, Integers and statistics. We can see from previous weeks how much the students are starting to pick up from us especially the UK volunteers.

On Monday we also had Matt and Winnifred present the issue of Community Development to us in our Active Citizen’s Day (ACD). They started by defining development in general and then got the whole group talking about the pros and cons of community development and the ways in which we as a team can help the community develop in a sustainable way in Adaklu Waya and Adaklu Anfoe. Also on Monday we had an open registration event linked to our Group Awareness Event on the previous Sunday. We had 13 people turn up to register for groups, including Honey famers who are now up to the magic number of 6 and can start the process of writing up a constitution and then formally registering with the DA. We also had some Maize and Groundnut farmers who signed up to join the already registers groups, as well as a seamstress who will now need to find other people to join with her and form another group. Later in the evening it was Kitt’s Birthday Party! We had a lovely party complete with Cake, Music, Dancing and Sobolo! I turned the grand old age of 24, and am really glad to have spent the day with all my new found friends here in sunny Adaklu.


On Tuesday we had a team meeting, Alberta and Matt took on the Team Leader role for the meeting. The livelihood groups all presented a report on what they had done during the week and we planned out events for the week ahead.

Wednesday morning the Vegetable and Groundnut groups had a training with the Agric Extension Officer. He taught the groups about good management practice, and later in the week this knowledge was passed on to all the livelihood groups by the latitude volunteers in a number of training sessions. In the evening, we had our weekly social on this day, and this time it was Kitt and Alberta’s time to host. We played Musical Chairs and Tug of War – which was victoriously won by the Media team!


This Thursday we started cutting more water sachets to make some football nets out of for the local JHS School. We also fixed the Volleyball Net which the children of Adaklu Anfoe (and the Lattitude Volunteers) love playing with every evening. We also had a meeting on Thursday when the volunteers in charge of the Kente group took over the newly formed Waya Vegetable Group.

Kente Team Meeting Up with The Newly Formed Vegetable Group

Kente Team Meeting Up with The Newly Formed Vegetable Group

On Thursday we also had a brilliant presentation from those volunteers who originate from the Volta region. They each came to present a little piece of their rich culture, and the whole group ended with a play about the local naming ceremony.

On Friday we had a Kwik (know what I know) session run by Winifred and Chloe. They taught us about sleep and the meanings and implications of dreams, then we all got a chance to read each other’s dreams- some of them were pretty surprising!


A volunteer Feeding a Monkey

Saturday we had our team building trip to Tafi atome Monkey Sanctuary and Wli Waterfalls both in the Volta Region. We had about a 40 minute walk through the forest to the waterfall, and when we got there all the UKVs and some of the ICVs had the chance to go swimming in the lovely warm water of the falls. The waterfall was so interesting we all lost track of time until it started to rain. We then had to drive back home over the mountains through a thunder storm in our trusty little mini-bus. By the time we got home 14 hours later, we were all too tired we had our supper and went straight to bed!

Finally this week on Sunday we had more livelihood meetings both in Anfoe and in Waya. We continued training on Record keeping and Management practices. We concluded the day with Richard’s Birthday Party. We all had the chance to request different songs to play and got even more cake and fizzy drinks!

Richard's birthday party Richard’s birthday party[/caption%

Week 6 Blog Post By Bayala & Joe(Oscar)

Hello to our many loyal fans across the globe who are keeping track with what the Cape-Coast team are achieving! Bayala and Joe (Oscar) are your bloggers for this week and we will endeavour to make your read as entertaining and informative as possible. We are almost half way through our livelihood project here in Cape-Coast and the momentum of what we are doing is well and truly gathering. What is it that you’re doing we hear you cry – well we’re glad you asked. Week 6 has been a break in our newly established routine. Instead of continuing to run the extensions of the core program (which are sessions of health, social and football skills), we focussed on planning our event which will take place next week, doing some manual labour by helping to build a canteen at the Centre and finishing the water-sachet nets. This was because all the schools in the area were preparing for the biggest event in the Primary and Junior High Schools’ sporting calendar – the Circuit Inter-schools Games. So after finishing planning the event and delivering lessons at the Football for Hope Centre from Monday to Wednesday, we all dutifully marched down to Adisadel Park on Thursday morning for the day’s sporting action.

A cross section of athlet at the inter school games

A cross section of athlete at the inter school games

In true Ghanaian fashion nothing really started until about an hour after the volunteers had gathered at the park, and in true British fashion all the UK volunteers complained about how hot it was. We learned that the Games were different athletic disciplines which were hotly contested by the various schools in attendance. The team was split into two groups at the beginning of the day; the timing group and the placing group. Those of us in the placing group (Bayala’s team) would take note of the positions in which athletes finished by checking their numbers and would report back to Desmond who wrote down the results. The timing group (Joe/Oscar’s group) would take note of the times in which the athletes finished. The timing group, unlike the placing group, did not have to stand up and move around to do their job so were chuckling to themselves every time the placing group had to get up to catch the athletes at the end of the race. However, this gloating did not last long as Joe/Oscar soon realised that despite being under the cover of a tent, he was still burning, like several other UK volunteers. The events themselves went well with the children enjoying their share of glory and disappointment in their schools’ efforts. One particular highlight for Bayala and Joe was when, during the boys 5000m race, the smallest athlete (who looked completely out his depth surrounded by boys twice his size) won with ‘cheeky ease’ – Bayala. He was applauded and loved by all the volunteers and different schools when he smashed all the other competition and made lots of money as prize.

Lattitude ICS volunteers helping the community with their inter school athletes games

Lattitude ICS volunteers helping the community with their inter school athletes games

Emmanuel Abaido Winner of 5000 meters race

Emmanuel Abaido Winner of 5000 meters race














Desmond H. Awalime ICV Team Leader for Lattitude ICS Project in Cape Coast doing a presentation during inter school athletes games at Adisadel College

Desmond H. Awalime ICV Team Leader for Lattitude ICS Project in Cape Coast doing a presentation during inter school athletes games at Adisadel College


Ryan Duffield UKV Team Leader for Lattitude ICS Project in Cape Coast doing a presentation during inter school  games at Adisadel Collage

Ryan Duffield UKV Team Leader for Lattitude ICS Project in Cape Coast doing a presentation during inter school games at Adisadel Collage

Unfortunately two members of the team did not get to experience the whole two days of the Games because they had been struck down by illness. Oli and Ashley battled through their respective illnesses but luckily they both had returned by Friday afternoon. Despite feeling awful at the time they joked about being ill and now will always remember each other as ‘hospital buddies’. Sadly Oli did in fact miss John’s moving culture day presentation about freedom – oops we mean Scotland – and Saani’s dance-filled presentation about the Northern Region in Ghana. John did actually teach us a traditional dance (weeping willow) from Scotland which we all performed outside the office much to the amusement of our project coordinator. Saani described two traditional dances (takai and bamaya) from the Northern Region but showed us videos because the dances require more training. However everyone learned something about both cultures and enjoyed the dance themed day.

John Dutch telling the team about some culture aspect of Scotland

John Dutch telling the team about some culture aspect of Scotland

Saani educating the team about the some of the culture of the people from Tamale in the Northern Region

Saani educating the team about the some of the culture of the people from Tamale in the Northern Region











The other presentation during the week was delivered on active citizenship day. Makafui and Ashley did their active citizen day (ACD) presentation on water and sanitation in the world. They presented a general overview of the water and sanitation situations in the world and then did a comparison between Britain and Ghana. As Makafui light-heatedly pointed out, ‘if you don’t have water, you will die’. British people take clean water and excellent sanitation for granted, whereas not all Ghanaians have access to clean drinking water and excellent sanitation facilities. We (the bloggers) discussed this a bit further and came up with a point to reflect upon – we are what we do. That is to say; everyone should strive, Ghanaians and Britons alike, to make the world a healthier and cleaner place. There are always ways to improve a world where not everyone has access to clean drinking water. Not having access a basic human need can be classed as poverty, and poverty is a global issue that must be tackled by everyone. So if we, as united people on this earth, make the world a better place by reducing poverty in all its forms; we, as individuals, will become better and more empowered, thus leading to an improved life for us, and all those around us.

Active Citizenship Day presentation by Makafui (ICV) and Ashley (UKV) on Sanitation

Active Citizenship Day presentation by Makafui (ICV) and Ashley (UKV) on Sanitation


Chilumba week 7

The groups, after the weekend in Karonga, have had a very productive week

On Tuesday the Vegetable Group received permaculture training from Corey, the Peace Corps representitive who has been delivering the business training for the women. Corey and his counterpart, Wilson, taught the group and their women the values of composting. The event was successful and led to the creation of a compost pile 50cm high. This compost will be used as a cheap and eco-friendly alternative to chemical fertilizers.

On Wednesday the Vegetable Group went to Fulirwa to undertake more market research. The group met the Village Chief Headman who took them on a tour of his garden through rivers, paddy fields and stagnant pools. The meeting focussed on the Chinese Cabbage grown at the farm as this is one of the vegetables the group is attempting to grow. It was found the farmers encounter problems when transplanting from the nursery to the beds. Transplanting lengthens the time it takes for plants to mature by about a week, leading to a lower profit margin. A lot of information concerning fertilizers, water, and pesticides vital to the group was collected.

The Chicken Group worked on their Community Development Initiative as well as attending meetings with D2D and building experts in the area concerning their chicken house.

The Baking Team also focussed on their Community Development Initiative, concentrating on perfecting their nursery school syllabus.

The social this week was held at Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge. A welcome quiet change from the busier beaches around Uliwa. The Chitimba Wood Market managed to keep the volunteers occupied for most of the day. In the afternoon we moved nextdoor to Chitimba Lodge where we undertook a few games of beach volleyball. The UKVs against the ICVs! It was a close call but the Ellie, Alex R and Azaan managed to secure a win by a few points! Hoorah!

A chilled social to end a busy week of work.

Love from the Chilumba Crew x

Cycle Two – Week 3 in Adaklu District

Hello, our names are Sara and Alberta. Alberta, being a Ghanaian volunteer, is from the Western region. Sara, a UK volunteer, is originally from Poland.

The volunteers have been divided into 4 teams, Planning And Logistics, Media, Safety and Security and Monitoring and Evaluation. We are both part of the planning team.

This is our third week here in Adaklu Waya and it’s certainly been very eventful. The team went to various schools to teach within Waya and Anfoe as usual. It has been announced that teaching will become optional as of next week as there are many other tasks that volunteers can do such as take up more farming groups or volunteer in the nursery. However this week we all finished our 3 designated weekly sessions.

image 1

Our team leaders Sammy and Kwosi (Matt) presented their active citizen day presentation (ACD) to us on the topic of governance and participation. This presentation was really insightful; you could certainly see how passionate they were on the topic. They described what the topic was about, mentioned the different governances in various countries and related it to the livelihood of the people here.


MCD’s are just one of several weekly presentations we have. Another session is called know what I know (KWIK). In this, two volunteers (one UK and one Ghanaian), are tasked with creating a presentation about something they have in common.  This week, the two volunteers decided on the topic of laughter, the highlight of the session was when they made us do laughing yoga, in which everyone in the room started to fake laugh and ended up irrepressibly laughing at each other.


Every week, each UK volunteer and their counterpart get to do a social evening where we come up with games or activities at our home to entertain the group. This week it was mine (Sara’s) and Christabel’s social. We decided to do a quiz night with lollipops for prizes. The quiz was more difficult to write than we thought because of the different range of knowledge the UKVs and ICVs have. We ended up having 3 rounds, the topics being Ghana, animals and music. The social went well, unfortunately there was a blackout a couple of hours before it began, but we managed to use candles and glowsticks to light up the room and everyone had a great time!

Nana Kofi, the Lattitude country manager came to visit us on Thursday to check on the wellbeing of the volunteers as well as the state of the project; he also gave some words of advice to some of the volunteers.

As we are in the planning team we had a very busy week sorting out all the ins and outs of our first awareness-raising event on Sunday to raise awareness about the advantages of group formation. We worked closely with the media team as well as safety and security to make sure the event was well advertised as well as safe for everyone. We did various trips to Waya to put up posters, make public transmission announcements and ensure that all of the resources were available.

Saturday was a day packed with preparations for event. The whole team woke up early in the morning to go to the chief’s courtyard to set up. Getting resources for an event here is rather challenging, we borrowed marquees, tables and planks of wood from various members of the community.  The plastic chairs were borrowed from the church, which thankfully was at a short walking distance from the event grounds. The whole team worked together to put up some marquees, tables and bring chairs, as well as to decorate the event with banners and bunting.

We had a couple of hours to relax then went back to Waya, the location of the event. Each volunteer had a task to do. Some were the MCs, some other took care of security, others were selected to sit at the stalls with the representatives, etc. From the start of the event we had to change the program around and improvise as it appeared a big storm was coming, it started to rain and there was a power cut which meant the microphone and music were no longer working. The planning team started to get a bit worried that the event would go downhill, yet thankfully the rain stopped rather quickly and the power came back on! Overall the event went very well, there were many talks from farmers, district assembly representatives and the queen mother, conveying the desired message. Some of the talks were a bit less audible from the lack of a microphone but all in all the right information was delivered. We also had many fun activities and games which had the audience laughing out loud at the contestants. Some of the volunteers joined in to participate in the dance competition and our team leader Matt shocked the audience with some amazing dance moves! The community members which attended were somewhat reserved, in that not many of them came up to the stalls to register for new groups, so our team improvised by walking around the audience enticing people to sign up. 26 new members showed interest in joining groups, and were all invited to a meeting at the Lattitude office the next day to discuss what opportunities we have for them.


When the event finished all of the volunteers were pleasantly surprised to see that a large amount of community members stayed to give us a hand taking down the marquees and clearing everything out. Even the old ladies and little kids were carrying chairs back to the church. Thanks to their help we were done very quickly and spent a long time dancing and playing with the children from the community.

In our time off we went for walks and to check out the stream in town. We also did group activities like playing Hot Seat which really helps break some of the ice between UK volunteers and in-country volunteers. Some of us went to the weekly market in Waya to by fruit and fabric. All the UK volunteers have now tailor made Ghanaian clothes! Overall we had a very productive and enjoyable week, can’t wait to see what we will achieve next week!



Week 5 Blog Post by Ashley & Dora

On Monday 26th of October, the team went to St Nicholas Anglican Basic School for the extension of the core programme which includes health, social and soccer. After this we continued the same programme at Falahiya Islamic Basic School. The children we very enthusiastic and interactive with us during these sessions and were eager to learn. It was great fun teaching and playing games with them. We came back to the office for our general meeting, where we decided ourselves into our various groups. Team leaders for the week were Joe Richards (UKV) and Daniel Korsah (ICV), so they took charge in running this meeting. In our groups we talked about what we have achieved throughout the whole of the last week as well as what we wish to achieve the following week and set these as our target. The training team sat down to finalise the timetable for the extension of the core programme, whilst the remaining of the group cut and made rings from the used water sachets for the recycle football nets. We ended the day by going to the Football for Hope Centre for the homework club.

Extension of Core Programme  with St. Nicholas Anglican Basic School

Extension of Core Programme with St. Nicholas Anglican Basic School

Extension of Core Programme

Extension of Core Programme








On Tuesday we started the day with Active Citizenship Day (Learning Day) which was presented by Oli and Bismack. Their topic of choice was on “Community Development”. They educated the group on what Community Development is all about and the progress in which it takes place. They talked about our affect on the community development in Cape Coast as a team, and how different people impact their own communities in different ways. Following this we divided ourselves into our various committees. The Awareness Raising team had a meeting with Ewurama (our team coordinator) to draw a budget for the event ahead of time and to discuss any arrangements which needed to be put into place. The Assembly man in the locality we want to host our first event was contacted to find out how he has progressed with finding a location to host the event, including any other details he needed to confirm.

Bismark (ICV) and oli (UKV) doing a presentation on Community Development during Active Citizenship Day (Learning Day)

Bismark (ICV) and oli (UKV) doing a presentation on Community Development during Active Citizenship Day (Learning Day)

The 5 areas volunteers contribute towards Community Development

The 5 areas volunteers contribute towards Community Development










Wednesday morning started off at St Monica’s JHS where we ran a session of the extension of the core programme, again including health, social and soccer. St Monica’s is an all girls schools so our classes in total involved 70 girls. We found that due to the age of the students at St Monica’s it was a lot easier to work with the girls, firstly due to them being older, paying more attention and listening more but also because we were getting more familiar with the activities and set up of the extension of the core programme we were running.  As usual the team then came back to the office where we had to complete our monthly report. This included our previous targets we had set ourselves at the beginning of our programme and discuss the progress of these objectives. Following this we then set ourselves new targets to achieve by the end of the next months but to also continue with the current work. Continuing with the cutting and making of the football net then followed, and progress for the nets was becoming more visible.

Thursday started with the extension of the core programme at St Nicholas Basic School. Due to setting up earlier and finding an easier way to manage the students, the programme ran more smoothly than the first session we had with them, this comes down to working more efficiently as a result of practice. Straight after the programme finished we all headed to the Football for Hope Centre where we receive training for next week sessions of the core programme. The activity which will be taught by the health group is “Hungry, Hungry Hippos”. This is used to teach the children about hydration and water, with the learning objective of identifying proper hydration techniques for various situations. The social group will teach the children “honesty” using a Freeze Game. The objective of this game is to understand the implication of honesty in all aspects of life. The final group is soccer which will teach “tactical components”. The game they played was Zones Game with the objective to improve team play and spatial awareness in game like situation and also to understand the importance of spacing awareness and spacing in soccer. Once the training had finished the team came back to the office to have the Culture Day presentation which was presented by Oli (UKV) and Daniel (ICV). They individually spoke about their home towns, traditions and other interesting facts which they wished to share with the group. Oli is from Wales and mainly focused on the South, teaching us about the flag, language, universities, media and tourist sites. Daniel is from Elmina, Central Region and mainly focused his presentation on the Elmina “Bakatue” Festival. He talked about the festivals traditions and rituals and activities. In the afternoon we completed our hour of Infrastructure, cutting and making of water sachet rings and of making the nets. We finished our day as usual at the Football for Hope Centre teaching the students during the Homework Club. The number of attendance keeps on increasing each day.

Oli signing the National Anthem of Wales

Oli (UKV) signing the National Anthem of Wales during his Culture Day Presentation

Daniel telling the Team about the rich culture of "Edina" popularly know as   Elmina

Daniel telling the Team about the rich culture of “Edina” popularly know as Elmina









Oli Presenting to the Team some culture aspect of his country Wales

Oli Presenting to the Team some culture aspect of his country Wales

On Friday we set up to run the extension of the core programme with three different schools, however due to the schools participating in an annual sports league against other schools we did not run the programme. Instead we visited another school which we may be potentially running the extension of the core programme at if we are able to fit them into our current timetable. Afterwards we came back to the office. The peer education team went to deliver a letter to Academy of Christ the King Senior High School to ask permission for the team to offer the students at the school career guidance and CV writing. As usual we continued with our recycling we ended the day at the Football for Hope Centre running the Free Play and creative Friday. The activities for this session included football and volleyball. The number of children who participated was 103 children, 60 were boys and the 43 left were girls.

Extension of Core Programme ( Mailman Game)

Extension of Core Programme ( Social Session “Mailman Game”)

Extension of Core Programme

Extension of Core Programme









Session of volunteers and pupil from St. Nicholas Anglican Basic School during our Extension of Core Programme

Session of volunteers and pupil from St. Nicholas Anglican Basic School during our Extension of Core Programme

Extension of Core Programme ( Health Session)

Extension of Core Programme ( Health Session)





Week 4 Blog Post by Lauren & Makafui

On Monday which was the 19th of October, the team had a general meeting which took place in the office. This week it is John and Makafui to begin the Team Leaders Platform, where they will lead the group for the week ahead. The team made group discussion on their various works to be done and we had the awareness raising team go in search of a place for our first event. The peer education also started their designs on the job cards and the training team went out for information from other schools to finalize the timetable for the extension of the core program to the schools. We later went to the centre, PLAY SOCCER, OGUAA FOOTBALL FOR HOPE CENTRE to assist with the homework sessions led by Kim the homework coordinator at 3:30pm.

John and Makafui, Team Leaders for the week.

John and Makafui, Team Leaders for the week.

On Tuesday the first pair for our learning day began with Lauren and Daniel and they spoke about “Young People and Development” teaching us about the roles we can play as young people to develop ourselves and the community. Discussed were things such as the importance of voting, community labor, looking after the environment and getting involved in development projects. We looked at how we could do this in both the UK and Ghana. We started with our sachet net making. We also had the birthday of our friend and brother Joe Richards. We say to you Happy Birthday We Love you and remember that “Failure inspires winners, failure defeats losers. The most powerful asset we all have is our mind”. We went to the centre as usual for our homework sessions.

Active Citizenship Day (Learning Day) Presentation by Daniel and Lauren

Active Citizenship Day (Learning Day) Presentation by Daniel and Lauren

On Wednesday we had our meetings and the training team gave us the timetable for the schools which include St.Nicholas Anglican Basic, Falahiya Islamic, St.Monica’s Girls, Golden Treasures, Kwegyir Aggrey and Aboom Zion B&C schools.  The awareness raising also gave the budget for the event, the action research team planned on their Career Guidance Draft, the infrastructure contacted the centre for the developing of the volley ball court and helped in measuring of the net. The resource development made likes on Facebook and twitter to increase and the peer education revisited the churches for contacts on the learning of soap making. Also today we managed to complete our first goal post net which is a massive success and it was great to see the finished product.

Recycling of water sachet into goal polls net.

Recycling of water sachet into goal polls net.

On Thursday we had the training for our core program, which always take place on Saturday mornings. As the weeks rotate we all got a different topic to focus on, including social, health and soccer skills. We have also continued cutting and stretching the sachets to make the other side of our goalpost. If we continue at a good pace with the net making we will have them ready for a school very soon!

Core Programme training at the Centre

Core Programme training at the Centre

On Friday we had our Global Peace Games a United Nations initiation to promote peace globally through sports which turned out to be a massive competition among ten schools which are Christ Church, Sir Peter Hold-Brooks, St Monica’s, Boss International, Antem Basic, Golden Treasures, Aboom A.M.E Zion, St Nicholas, Mfanstipim Basic and Dunwell Basic Schools. The program started with quizzes which Mfanstipim came out first, St Monica’s Girls came second and Antem came out third. There was football matches between all these schools in which Mfanstipim took the trophy, Christ Church followed taking the second position.

Desmond Harrison Awalime Quiz Master for Global Peace Games

Desmond Harrison Awalime Quiz Master for Global Peace Games


Cross session of the students at the Quiz room

Cross session of the students at the Quiz room


Mfantsipim Basic School winners of the Global Peace Games "Football"

Mfantsipim Basic School winners of the Global Peace Games “Football”

Abro Cycle 7 -Week 3

On the Saturday 17th of October 2015, the group made a trip to a cave the next village of Komenda. This cave was believed to have a channel from Komenda to Elmina Castle but unfortunately the cave has been destroyed. We had about thirty minutes walk from Abrobiano to the cave site and were able to go only a few metres inside the cave because the inner tunnel has been broken down. Thereafter, the team rested along the beach for few hours. Some read their books, others played cricket and some people wandered down the shore. The site was very beautiful and different from the one at Abrobiano. Those who loved to swim made good use of the trip by swimming and we all enjoyed every part of the trip. After two hours there, we journeyed along the coast on foot back to Abrobiano. It was a lovely but tiring day.



The next day was Rowen’s birthday. The celebration started around 11:30am with a football match among volunteers including the team leaders, Sir Paul and the Kweku. The whole group was divided into three sets and we played among ourselves. Lucky for the birthday boy his team won the tournament and also he scored the highest number of goals after two rounds of games. It was a hot, hot day but everyone survived to the evening where we had the brass band round to play, everyone had a boogie and we even played skittles with coconuts and plastic bottles.


On Monday, it seemed the weekend took a toll on the team, as five volunteers were not feeling well – but we had to get on with things without them! Community engagement took place as scheduled on recycling where volunteers engaged community members on issues related to managing waste. The end result was very positive as community members were willing to practice good sanitation by reducing the waste they make, reuse what can be used again and separate plastics from other waste.

The next day, volunteers went to their various classrooms to teach the topic of the week. It was a tough assignment as the recycling issues are new to the students, but everyone learned something new! The groups focused on reducing and reusing waste, as these are ideas that the children could easily grasp.


Wednesday was WWW at the schools, and the groups showcased the different ways to reuse plastic sachets. Later, we had Sir Paul into the office to teach us how to make football nets from the water sachets – everyone got involve with the cutting and weaving, and the nets should be up in no time! The evening brought Hannah and Steph’s social, and despite power cuts and storms they put on a cracking evening with kebabs, music, games and pineapple.


By Thursday, the week was flying by! In the morning Sarah was surprised by the group a breakfast, bearing orange juice and gifts for her birthday! We had a second community engagement session to try and reach the people we don’t see on Tuesday afternoons, and although it was quiet in the village with villagers at the farms, we encountered a lot of women who were keen to learn about our creative water sachet crafts! In the afternoon, it was the turn of Joe and Claire for My Culture Day. With Joe, we took a trip to the South Coast of England, to the New Forest and the Bournemouth Airshow. Claire talked about her family heritage in Uganda, and the local traditions of her clan. Fascinating stuff! After office we had the first community megaphone talk, with Deladem and Steph making the message known throughout the community. The evening brought Sarah’s birthday bash, with more orange juice, buckets of popcorn, cake and the Lion King.. What more could you want!?


On Friday, we had volleyball and rockclimbing technique courtesy of Jack and Steph, then the group was busy with their individual projects, and preparing for the topic of next week- skin disease!


Cycle Two – Second week in Adaklu District 5th – 12th October

After spending our first week in Ghana meeting our fellow volunteers, integrating into our communities and settling into our host homes, project Adaklu is really beginning to pick up pace. We have conducted our main market research, begun our teaching side project, and started holding meetings with previously formed trading groups.

At the beginning of the week the team, including our team leaders and in country coordinator, went to visit our biggest local market at Mafi. Beforehand, we all took a trip to the schools in our community. As it was World Teachers Day, we decided to acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate all of the hard work that teachers put into developing the youth of today.

The team celebrating national teacher's day

The team celebrating national teacher’s day

Shortly after arriving at Mafi market we split into teams of Groundnut, Kente and Maize and began our market research. Our aim was to gather information from stall holders about the price of their products, how much they sell, and how they present the goods which they have to offer. We even had the chance to do a bit of shopping at the market and sample some of the food they had to offer, like oranges (which are green in Ghana, not orange), groundnuts and sugar cane. On the whole, the research trip was very successful, giving us lots of information, providing us with a basis to support the groups which we are working with to develop their sales and eventually get to market.


Our research trip to Mafi market

On Tuesday some of the ICS team began teaching in the local primary and junior high schools. We each have three 1 hour scheduled time slots in which we teach every week. We all felt quite nervous before we started teaching, but quickly realised that there was no need. The teachers are friendly, and the children are eager to learn. After another successful afternoon the team congregated at the team meeting area to discuss what we discovered at the market and our thoughts on teaching.

Our teaching continued on Wednesday. The team of 16 are split between different schools, meaning that we all teach at different times on different days. Wednesday however is the only day which the whole team teaches at some point during the day. In the evening, the team attended our team leaders social event. Socials are a really good opportunity to have a laugh as a group, our first social entailed lots of child like party games, like pin the tail on the pig- We definitely underestimated how difficult it would be!

A fellow volunteer teaching at Waya Primary School

A fellow volunteer teaching at Waya Primary School

Thursday we held our first meetings with the pre existing trading groups of Waya and Anfoe. This meeting, along with our market research helped us to identify the needs of the groups and work to support continual and sustainable development in our local communities.

Teaching local maize farmers on record keeping

Teaching local maize farmers on record keeping

Later in the afternoon we traveled into Waya to meet with the chief Torgbui Lablulu and the queen mother Mama Dzakuia. The Chief and Queen Mother informed us of what they believed the challenges in the community were, highlighting poor time keeping in Waya. We discussed up and coming events in the local area, such as our awareness raising event on 18th October. The chief invited the team to the opening to the Education Trust Fund at the end of the month, this will be a great way to continue integrating into the community and keep updated about the progressions which the community is making. Thursday afternoon we lost power, the second power cut since arriving here. Being so close to the equator, It gets dark quite early and It’s a lot harder to navigate your way around in the dark than first anticipated. The power cut lasted over 36 hours. Friday evening saw the arrival of hundreds of families and friends arrive into our host community to begin celebrating the live of the recently deceased (still with no electricity). Before arriving in Adaklu, 4 individuals from our local communities passed, today the three-day-celebrations began. In Ghana, funerals are a world apart from what they’re like in England: polar opposite. Funerals in Ghana are seen to be a celebration of the individuals life, Friday evening family and friends begin traveling to the community of the burial, before the body of the deceased is transported to their home for one last night. Friday night consists of a huge party, singing, dancing, music and prayers, starting from around 8pm and continuing until the end of the funeral celebrations, even through the night into the next day. The celebrations continue through until Sunday when the church service and burial commences.

At the weekends our schedule opens up quite a lot and gives us free time to catch up with our washing etc. and relax before engaging in another busy week. Open Mic Night is the only scheduled event on Saturdays, a chance to spend time together and have fun, anyone can come up to the stage and perform, whether that be singing, dancing, telling jokes or any other form of entertainment which you can imagine. Amy was the only one brave enough to sing solo in front of our fellow volunteers. She was the first on stage, singing a solo version of Rihanna. Followed by groups singing various songs, dancing around, and telling jokes.
Sunday is our host home and counterpart day. After visiting the seamstress and meeting with the farming groups, everyone in our host home sat down and ate outside together.

Everything has been amazing so far, I can only hope it carries on the way it’s started.

Thanks for reading! There will be another update next week from our fellow volunteers.

Chloe and Amy

Chilumba Week 6

This short week has been a busy week, filled with business planning, budget planning, and survey typing. On Monday, the women from each project came together in Uliwa and had their business training. We provided the women with notepads, pens and drinks. The baking ladies made snacks of cassava mandasi for everyone. During the business training, 4 of the ICVs in the team provided translations for the women. This was a big task which required fast thinking and fast writing. Our team was very able and managed to translate everything and get the point across. The women were very thankful for the opportunity to learn new skills.

Throughout the rest of the week, out meetings with the women’s’ groups were spent going through business plans and putting down on paper exactly what we want to achieve. It was really nice to get the women involved with this and to hear their thoughts and opinions. As well as this, each team finalised and gave budget reports to the budget team to be assessed and recorded. On Thursday we all met and found how the funding of each of our 4 projects would work. This are moving on now and we are all excited to begin buying the essential inputs the IGAs need… So week 7 will involve some spending!

On Thursday the team got to enjoy a rare day off! Here in Malawi, 15th October is a very special day as it is Mother’s Day. It is so special in fact that it is a public holiday: schools closed and nobody goes to work to celebrate the Mothers of the world! On this day children take their mothers to parties on the lake, and do the housework and cook whilst the mother puts her feet up, rightly so. We all bought our host mums presents, including, chocolates and chitenjes; there were many happy mothers in Uliwa!


On Friday, instead of our usual learning day at Maji Zuwa, this weekend we had our mid-placement review in Karonga. After being in Chilumba for 6 weeks, we had a chance for a change. We also had a chance to interact with the rest of the Lattitude ICS team from Chitipa. Everyone was happy after not having seen each other for so long. The journey started early on Friday in 2 cramped taxis. A short hour later we were all settled in at the Safari Annex Lodge. We even managed to fit in a short trip into Karonga to visit the market; it was wonderful seeing so much different fruits and vegetables, and some of things which you cannot find in chilumba.


After enjoying a nice meal in the afternoon everyone was ready for a presentation about the last 6 weeks in each project. The Chiluma and Chitipa teams both gave in depth presentations about what we have achieved so far, the background of the projects, what we aim to achieve in the rest of the time here in Malawi and showed some pictures and videos. It was great to see the progress we have all made and share it with the rest of the ICS Malawi team!

Saturday was a tad more intense with several sessions including cultural awareness, host homes discussion, (during which a bottle of water was emptied on Alex Repole’s face as he pretended to be the fire that crackled away in the fireplace in John’s perfect home!) and, safety & security. We also had a very successful team dynamics meeting during which many honest thoughts were shared about each other. There were also 3 fun events: a counterpart quiz and a monster race! The evening, after an hour long delay with dinner due to a blackout, was spent dancing and singing until morning light; the high of seeing the Chitipa Group and everyone being together fuelling an amazing night.



Sunday morning marked the end of a successful weekend. Tears were shed when the groups parted ways; we are all looking forward to seeing them again in 6 weeks’ time! Now we are all back in our respective host communities, and have had time to reflect on the things we discussed and shared. We all feel ready to take the next 6 weeks by the horns and go full power ahead… working together well, giving our new energy to the projects and enjoying every step of the way!

Until next time… Love, Team Chilumba