Friday, October 31, 2014

How Time Flies...

Word of the week: 'Chichiba' meaning 'endurance' or 'perseverance'

We're now more than a third of the way through our placements and with the mid-term review fast approaching we've had a week of hard work.

Despite a few members of the team struggling with illnesses, we have persevered and managed to complete all our DPO meetings in the Builsa North district, and are in the process of arranging the remaining meetings with the DPO's from Builsa South. However, from the meetings we have already attended, we have gained enough insight and information about the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the Feok Festival last year, and we've sent out the invitations for the discussion forum we're holding in November, where representatives from each DPO in the Builsa District, District Assembly Men and Women, two of the Paramount Chief's and their elders from the district and other important figures in the community will meet to discuss the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities.

In preparation for this, we are also in the process of organising a clean-up day at the Sandema Disabled People's Organisation Office next Tuesday, which all our volunteers, along with volunteers from the DPO will work together to ensure a clean, safe environment for the organisation to work in, and for our meeting to take place.

We're continuing to look for raw materials for New Era to produce high quality soap. We've had our first delivery of Shea Butter from Rita in Tamale! We've also tracked down some second hand boxes for our first production run on Monday. We're working to get funding to start up a small social enterprise in Sandema, where People with Disabilities produce Shea Butter from good quality nuts. This will hopefully employ 4-5 PWDs and provide a reliable long term source of high quality Shea Butter for New Era Soap. Today we met with some of the people who will hopefully start production in the next few weeks. We're now trying to track down some Caustic Soda and Palm Kernel Oil. In the long term for New Era to expand it's going to need more capital and so we've set up a crowdfunding page at www.gofund.me/newerasoap to help raise funds for training and resources.

In the girls club the planning committee in collaboration with volunteers are organising inter matches activities between the girls club and the various school in Sandema to encourage more members into the meeting. We want to make an impact by including adults women to the girls club. The Girls' Club has absolutely zero budget, so to raise money for sports equipment and other resources we're also raising money using gofundme at www.gofund.me/sandemagirlsclub.

With it being a busy time in work, last weekend some of us decided to treat ourselves and brave the 18 hour bus journey down to Cape Coast and visited the canopy walkway at Kakum National Park. We also got the chance to visit Cape Coast Castle, which was a thought provoking and emotional experience, having been the last place in Ghana for slaves before transport across the Atlantic.

Finally, some of the most amusing parts of the week have been the momentary appearances of goats both and work and at home (see the picture below)...


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