Lattitude Blog

Week 4 by Jordan and Lydia

Monday turned out to be the Ghanaian spring bank holiday, similar to that of the UK’s so the volunteers had the day off to relax and do as they pleased.

Tuesday started with us all attending out school sessions. The topic of conversation for the students was malaria, AIDS and hep B. After that we returned to the famous mango tree to discuss what we talked about in class and how we were received. Following that we took the time to make the health awareness banners (used by previous cycle) look presentable and informative, leading up to Saturday’s health awareness event. Then lunch, woop! After lunch, those who teach in Abro MA primary took the posters we made down to the classes to stick them up. We hope the children take the time to read them, as well as learn them then we planned our WWW class ready for tomorrow.

Wednesday: Today was the de-worming day in the schools. Finally, we set up initially at the Abro Islamic school after our WWW and proceeded with the de-worming the children. Will it was hectic due to the lot of population of children, it was a rewarding experience. Worms were killed, fingers were hit and hoorahs shouted. Never was MA primary and Junior High school. Overall, the day was rewarding and the group moral was high. We fell like we finally made something tangible. This all stemmed from our work awareness and in schools.

Thursday: All volunteers reported at the office at the usual time (9:00). Since the team leaders were having a class section at Abro Islamic school we had to wait for them to come. But before that, we had a youth net representative from the university who will be spending the rest of the weeks with us. She introduced herself as Isha who will be willing to answer any questions we have about the Youth Net and so forth. The team leaders arrived later in the morning and we had a lesson on BMI which was about the formula or how to measure the BMI of someone.

BMI= weight in kg/ Heights in metres^2

Next was HIV, where we got to know the types of HIV i.e. type 1 and type 2. Also the four was of transmission. Last but not the least was the HIV testing, which is in two ways:

  1. Anti bodies
  2. virology

Friday: As usual we all got to the office at the normal time. The first section was about planning the community engagement talk which after we moved on to the coming week. There after we moved on to the KWIK day for the AZONTO dance came about. It origin and how it became famous. She also taught how to perform the dance with the use the feet, hand and hips and also various you can do when doing the dance such as washing boxing, driving and making lip. After her KWIK, Jordan also had his KWIK on topic “international system”. Next was volunteer for the week where Willis won due to his marvelous work during the cape coasters visit.

Lastly, we crowned the day with a surprise birthday party which was held at the office to celebrate Abigail’s 22nd Birthday.

Week 3 blog by Evans & Shane

The Monday of week three began in the sweltering morning sun when the volunteers conducted their community engagement. The topic for this week was worm infestation and de-worming. We did this in order to tell the community about the deworming that was happening the following week. The groups found contrasts in the knowledge of individuals and groups. The planned lessons for that week were around worms and were used to rectify their lack of knowledge.

The ACD this week was held by Lydia and Leila and was based around Diversity, the group enjoyed the chance to discuss our own personalities and why being diverse can be good in teams. After this we had a lesson from a local teacher Sir Paul, he taught about the importance of lesson planning, which went over the planned hour…by about an hour. It was very interesting and helped us to plan our lessons the following day.

Every week we do class sessions in the schools around Abro, this week we based our sessions around worms, the causes, signs, types and preventions. The classes seem pretty receptive to us but their English is pretty limited so it is helpful that our class teams have our Fanti speakers. The lessons went really well and the after discussions were held by Dan and Willis. Every Tuesday two volunteers take over the team leader role and take charge of the day. We planned our Wednesday Worship Workshop for the next day and presented our plans to the group.

In the afternoon the groups planned their surveys for community engagement and got them printed, afterwards in preparation for the cape coast visit we hit the football pitch and had a match against the local kids, who are fitter, faster and slightly better than us, only slightly…

On Wednesday we were up early for our Wednesday Worship Workshops. These are small 15 minute recaps of the day before. After this we went to visit the elders again where they came back with answers for the questions we previously asked. They took us on a walk around the village and were shown the two main dumpsites. We went for lunch after and watched the KWIK days of Shane and Evans and learned a lot about the UK governance system!

During that week we had our first bit of decent rain since the UK! The UKv’s loved it, they ran around and cheered and got soaked to the bone. The social this week was at Rowan’s. It was Thomas’ birthday on that day and Rowan’s was on the next day which was also her 21st birthday on the 21st!

We did a big community engagement survey this week and spent hours walking around the community and engaging with the community on set topics. Afterwards we returned to the office where we had the MCD by Ahmed and Rahman. They both talked about what weddings were like in their culture.

On the Friday we took part in communal labour, it pretty much involved sweeping it into smaller piles, trying to dodge the human faeces when the dark smoke of the fires was blowing into your face. We decided as a group that we should talk to the community to sort out a different way of doing community cleanouts which actually involve cleaning the community at large.

On Saturday we had the much anticipated visit from the Cape Coast project. We all helped to sort out the food for their arrival and got ready for the game of football. The girl’s team played brilliantly and only lost 1-0. The guys also tried their best and lost 4-1. We spent the evening catching up with our other volunteers who we hadn’t seen for a few weeks and gave them a tour of Abro.

See ya next week!

Greetings from Sangilo!

We arrived in Sangilo nearly 5 weeks ago and were greeted by our host families singing their traditional welcome songs. We met our families and we went on our treks up the hill to our new homes for 10 weeks. The families helped us carry our luggage, mostly on their head – such an awesome skill!  Living conditions are basic and many homes don’t have electricity, however the simplicity of this way of living is refreshing. Our host families have big hearts and are very welcoming!
The following day, the hottest day we had experienced so far we went on a 10 mile hike of rugged hills, beach and the never ending M1 road – exhausting to say the least!
On Monday, the working week commenced and we were divided into many teams. Our main project surrounding the nurseries and secondary projects which include the Girls Group, Infrastructure, Action Research and Sangilo’s first Deaf Club. We were also divided into different committees, presentations and given our main responsibilities to work on while in the nurseries.

The team on the hike!

Our main project involves working across four nurseries; Tilipo, Phulano, Tiyezge and Luvilimbo. As we are the last cycle we have been concentrating on evaluation projects. This is so we can observe all the work done across the previous five cycles and measure the impact of the volunteers input.
The monitoring and evaluating committee has been set up to collate information which can be passed on to ‘D2D (Determined 2 Develop)’, to help the improve primary education in the long term. To help the committee in doing this everyone observes a different aspect of nursery education.The four nurseries differ in terms of resources, ability and teaching methods. Therefore, we have been split in to four subgroups, in order to monitor each nursery two weeks at a time.
Group 1 has been observing attendance and pass rate; Group 2 – socialisation; Group 3 – testing methods; Group 4 – curriculum, timetable and resources; Group 5 – attentiveness and behaviour.
To date we have made good progress. For example the testing team were able to devise a test and put the kids through the examination process at their respective nurseries. The test was written on 2 sheets of flip chart paper and each child was called out individually to do the verbal test. The team decided this was the best way to execute the test due to limited resources. It was interesting to see the difference in results across the different nurseries.They are now working on improvising the test by liaising with primary school teachers and discussing external factors which may have impacted the results.
Below are pictures of some of the volunteers at the nurseries. The kids are very enthusiastic and always excited to see us!  Everyone wants to hold our hands and if your hands are full you become a climbing frame. It’s really endearing, as well as a bit of a workout, but lots of fun nonetheless. Oh and bubbles. The kids love the bubbles!

Tilipo Nursery – Juniors class, they were struggling to differentiate between M and N

Phulano Nursery – Marcus as a climbing frame

Luvilimbo Nursery – Beginners class, this class has to learn outside the church as there is currently no classroom for beginners

Tilipo Nursery – porridge time

We are also working on secondary projects – these are community based and aim to help and empower the local people to take ownership of issues affecting them.
The Action Research team are working towards a teachers notebook. This note book will contain over 400 lesson plans for beginners and juniors (nursery and reception aged children), alongside a standardised timetable. The lesson plans are being planned with a lack of resources in mind, which can be quite tricky at times. The team has decided to collaborate with the nursery teachers as their experience and local knowledge is invaluable.
The aim is that the teachers can use this notebook to standardise education across the nurseries; be a useful tool kit for teachers and also something that could be utilised when setting up new nurseries and training new teachers in the area.

The action research team.

Another exciting secondary project that’s being worked on is the Girls Club. Five female volunteers run two Girls Club sessions a week at Tilipo nursery. Their aim is to educate and empower girls in the area to stay in education and tackle some of the issues they will encounter in life e.g how to deal with peer pressure and how to say no to experiences they’re not ready for. To make sure that the girls learn valuable information in Girls Club, the volunteers fill the sessions with fun games and interactive activities, from singing and dancing to acting and writing poetry. In the next few weeks, they will be working with the girls towards making clothes for a Fashion Show, which they’re very excited about since there will be a lot of glitter involved! All in all, attendance has been excellent and the volunteers aim to assure that Girls Club continues for a long time after our placement is finished.

Girls group in action

We also have the Infrastructure and Equipment team. To date they have completed an audit of all the resources at each of the four nurseries, they can now liaise with the Action Research team to ensure all of the nurseries will have sufficient equipment for their lesson plans. In addition to this, they have worked with teachers at Phulano nursery and created appropriate designs for the beginners and juniors classrooms in the newly built nursery building.
In the last week they have been getting stuck in with sanding down and lime-washing the walls. It’s been an extremely fun task despite some questionable health and safety measures, but it’s great to see the physical changes and improvements being made to the new nursery.

Infrastructure team hard at work.

The last secondary project we are currently working on is Deaf Club. This is a new project started by this cycle. This is a social gathering of deaf people around Sangilo between the ages of 6-25, twice a week. We teach them sign language since most of them haven’t been to school and other activities like arts and crafts with some fun games.
Attendance was low to begin with and the deaf people were having a hard time to learn sign language as they haven’t been to school. We also encouraged them to come with their family members so that they can also learn how to sign for easy communication. In respect of low attendance, we decided to reach out to the community to advertise and promote our work and it seems our numbers are increasing!
For the future we would like this club to keep running even after the last cycle comes to an end. We hope to set up a structure that will be sustainable upon our departure. We want to empower the community so that they can be self reliant.

The team having fun with arts and crafts projects before starting sign lessons.

ICS Mzuzu Welcome Blog!!

 

Greetings (finally) on potentially the hottest day so far, Friday the 5th of June 2015, from the last cycle of Lattitude volunteers based in Mzuzu, in the very beautiful northern region of Malawi!!

icsWe’ve been here for just over a month now and we really feel like we’re getting to know the place! At least for the UK Volunteers, it has been a bit of a steep learning curve and quite different to how many of us had imagined it would be!

As a team, we have divided up into our 3 organisations: – Apause, Mzuzu Young Voices, and Saved By the Ball. Within these charities, we are following on from where the previous cycles left off, and working to raise awareness of HIV and Aids, good hygiene practices and Climate change. This means going into schools and teaching (a lot!!), which is tough due to the language barrier but very rewarding when you feel like you are making even a small difference.

Tomorrow, all three of our organisations are teaming up to host a sports day/awareness event. Trying to plan the event has proved very difficult with limited resources and a small budget, but hopefully it will serve as the platform for a bigger event, raise our profile within the community, and ultimately raise awareness of what our organisations do!

So far, there have been lots of ups and downs involved in getting to grips with a completely new society and way of doing things. Progress here can be painfully slow at times which can be very frustrating, but I think that we’d all agree (as cheesy as it sounds) that team work and a positive mental attitude are key!! You really do have to learn to go with the flow here and look for the positives – otherwise you will not survive!!

It has also just been confirmed that this Sunday, we will be heading on a trip to a nature reserve, where we will be reunited with our fellow volunteers based in Sangilo, and hopefully see some of the big five such as elephants and lions IN REAL LIFE, yay!! Despite the fact that we all have to get up at 4 in the morning, everybody is super excited and cannot wait!!! So, with a spot of luck, some awesome pics will follow in the next blog post!!!

ics sunset

 

 

Cycle 6 – Week 4 by George Sarpong & Lewis Clarke

Saturday 23rd May

We began the day by travelling to Abrobiano, where we spent the night and had a gathering with our brothers and sisters from the Abro team. Whilst we were at Abro we competed in a football game against them, the first game was the Cape Coast girls against the Abro girls and after a tough game we were successful in winning 1-0. The Cape Coast men’s team succeeded in beating the Abro men 4-1 to carry on the 6 cycle winning streak, and the guys are still unbeaten as a team in Cycle 6. Later that evening we all participated in a barbecue party to finish off our day at Abro.

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Sunday 24th May

After a tough night stay at Abro due to the weather conditions being so different and challenging compared to our norm at Cape Coast, we started the day with a trip to the beach to relax before leaving. Later in the afternoon we started our journey back to Cape Coast, on our travels we passed through the Elmina Castle for a tour which was a good experience in learning how the castle was involved with the slave trade. As we got back to Cape Coast that evening, the volunteers went home to their respected host homes and settled down for the night.

Monday 25th May

Monday was the African Union Day holiday, so we didn’t have work and the day was spent with our host families.

Tuesday 26th May

We all gathered at the office at 10am to start our working week and the day started off with a few Learning Day presentations. Lewis and Freda presented first about ‘Diversity and Working Together’; George and Anita followed the presentation by introducing the topic of ‘Conflict and Peace’ to the group. Both presentations were full of factual knowledge and the group of volunteers learnt a lot from the presentations. After Lunch the group proceeded with their normal tasks of being involved with Peer Education within the local community or continuing with the Sachet Nets before heading to the Play Soccer Centre for homework session.

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Wednesday 27th May

As we got to the office, we split into small groups and started with a task of going around to churches to try and get people involved in our peer education programme which helps unemployed people find jobs through free educational classes; the other half of the group attended schools to introduce our core programme to them to try getting them on board. The purpose of going to the schools was to educate them on Physical Education classes and teach the children about Social and Health with the use of soccer as a learning tool. After lunch we then continued in working and developing the sachet nets, before heading to the Centre for homework club.

Thursday 28th May

We reported to the office in the morning and started the day by listening to Catalina and Belinda talking about their cultures. We learnt about where they were from, Romania and the Volta Region respectively, and what kind of traditions they had in their cultures. After lunch we then continued in working and developing the sachet nets we were making before heading to the Centre for homework club.

Friday 29th May

The first task of the day was to complete our weekly reports on how the week went and what challenged us throughout the week, regarding activities we were doing and what we learnt throughout the week. A few of the volunteers went to local schools they previously visited to drop letters off for approval; we later went to the Centre to supervise the free play that was happening. 

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.

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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