It is hard to believe that we are almost half way through our project here in Ghana! My time in Koforidua has been very enjoyable, with the company of new friends, new adventures, and meaningful workshops I am reluctant to depart to Takoradi next week, but grateful for the opportunity to experience a new region of Ghana.
This past weekend we were able to visit the Volta Region where we took a tour through the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary. As an animal lover, the only thing better than holding and feeding the Mona Monkeys was knowing that they are completely wild, living in a protected forest. Since they have never been harmed by humans, they have become accustomed to their presence and will get up close and personal in exchange for their favourite food – bananas! Our visit to the Volta Region also included a trip to Wli falls (the tallest waterfall in West Africa), a brief tour through the town of Hohoe and a number of cramped, bumpy tro tro rides.
Our work over the past week has consisted of planning and implementing a number of handwashing and sanitation workshops which were held in various schools in Jumapo. Personally, these workshops have been particularly gratifying as I enjoy working with school age children. However, I found that for these workshops, the presence of our local mentors from the YMCA was integral to the functioning of the workshops. Their ability to translate difficult concepts into Twi in order to ensure the children’s full understanding, as well as reminding us of English words that have a different meaning locally (for example; “toilet” vs. “bathroom”) was invaluable to the success of the workshop. The workshops were very interactive and included many activities, such as a game demonstrating how quickly germs can spread from infected persons, often without knowing who is infected.
Our workshops culminated in a quiz competition held between the four schools where we facilitated workshops. The competition provided a great way for students to test their knowledge of concepts surrounding handwashing and sanitation while also fostering school spirit. Overall the enthusiasm during the quiz competition was extremely high from both the students and the teachers!
Candace Westman, Youth Ambassador, Ghana, 2013
YCI is currently recruiting for a number of projects in Ghana this Winter- check out our Program Calendar for more information!