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Monday, September 16, 2013

This Is Only The Beginning!

So we are drawing to the end of the third phase at RAINS and I am pretty sure that I am safe in saying on behalf of the team, that it has been one hell of an experience. From dancing with the Dinani cultural group, to meeting traditional chiefs and paying our respects, all the way to finalising a brand new pilot programme project plan - it has been a BUSY three months!

We have achieved some great things during the placement and have been able to finalise the plans for both a young girl AND young boy focussed project. This alongside a couple of secondary projects, which have been working towards increasing RAINS social media awareness and a uniform upcycling initiative, based in Tamale and Savelugu/Nanton districts.

Girl Project – Following field research, we arranged for a local cultural dance group to take on the task of producing a performance which will be centred on raising awareness and knowledge of contraception, in traditional communities. The group are now ready, the communities are now ready…. We just need to make it happen!

Boy Project – We started this project with an incredibly broad aim, ‘to reduce young boy drop-out rates in schools’. This sounded too big of a challenge at first but by breaking it down into ‘small small’ (Ghanaian colloquialism) pieces, we managed to slowly focus our research and come up with a finalised project plan! Please, if you have the time, follow the link below for the full picture. A project fundamentally based around young boys has never really been attempted before in the Northern Region of Ghana and so I, for one, am REALLY excited about its potential!


But it is with a heavy heart that I have to start my final farewells to the remaining members of team RAINS. Grace and Sophie have been amazing and I honestly cannot rate them highly enough. If any future volunteers are reading this, take a leaf out of their book and be awesome ;) They have had to deal with quite a bit of high drama during their placement, they have managed to keep a (relatively) level head throughout and have been able to achieve above and beyond what I expected. THANK YOU! Take care and please keep me posted on what you get up to when you return (not to mention please send me some care packages, you know what I want!).

It wouldn't be fair though to not mention our dear departed colleagues… So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank both Laura and Beccy for their contributions to the project! It was such a shame to see you both go but I wish you all the best for the future!

The last three months have been exciting, frustrating, entertaining, productive and most of all FUN! So thank you guys, you’ve been great. But, it is only the beginning for RAINS and I, hopefully everything we have achieved over the last few months will be taken on and new heights reached.

So, Team RAINS IV, in the immortal words of one Delia Smith - ’Lets be ‘avin you’! :D

Until next time,

Matthew