Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What a crazy couple of weeks!

What a crazy couple of weeks! Andy has been too ill to come to work for the past three weeks so myself and Iulian have been left to our own devices. We have been joined by some Canadian interns and we visited Kadema with them this week to see a school set up by a local man named Yaw. Yaw set up the school because his village lacked an English speaking school, leaving the children ill prepared for junior high. Despite some of the children crying and running away at the sight of a group of white people, the visit was lovely and we were delighted to listen in on an English lesson ran by one of the volunteer teachers. Yaw hopes to build a new and permanent building and is hoping to apply for funding in order to make this a reality. Although this is not a part of CBR's work, his project plan is exciting and potentially something for someone with the right contacts to get involved in.

In other news, the main project I have been working on is Girls Club. I want it to be a place for girls to learn about sexual and reproductive health in a safe and non-judgemental space which promotes discussions and questions. It should be an inspiring group which encourages girls to consider their position and role in Ghanaian society and to strive for equality and the chance to be active members of their community. Ideally, the club would run for ten weeks at a time and would meet weekly, teaching on a different theme each time such as sexual health, menstruation, relationships, female leadership and women's rights. The club will be aimed at girls aged 12-18 but older and younger girls will be welcome at the leaders discretion.

The club will be headed up by a group of women, co-ordinated by the chairperson and her deputy. The leaders would need to commit to planning and delivering the sessions each week so I am looking for strong and committed women who are passionate about empowering young girls. After a couple of hitches along the way, I think we have finally struck gold! Grace, who I had a successful radio show with a few weeks ago, introduced me to some of her colleagues and we managed to gather a group of nine women together, all keen to become leaders of the club.

We have arranged to meet again next week where we will elect a chairperson to take charge of the club. I believe it is so important for the women to own the club themselves. Girls Clubs which have been set up by volunteers in Sandema in the past may have been unsustainable because the clubs were started and therefore owned by the volunteers. By involving the group of women in the very foundations of starting the club means that it will be theirs rather than mine and hopefully will continue to grow after I have gone.

I am fighting the urge to be frustrated that I won't be in Sandema to see Girls Club begin but I understand that 3 months is an unrealistic amount of time to start something up like this. Hopefully by laying some firm foundations the next team will be able to support a powerful group of girls and women.

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