Developing a just society based on equity and equal opportunities for all with respect for diversity.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Empowering Communities Through Education

As our work here begins, we’re all very excited to get started on four really interesting projects at RAINS. We have three months to meet quite a number of targets and build upon the achievements of the previous cohort, so there’s lots of work to do and we’ll have to work hard! We have a boys’ education project, girls’ contraception project, a uniform upcycling scheme, and a social media enhancement project. Three of these have a common feature of community development through empowering the target groups using workshops and sensitisation campaigns, while the last is all about making sure people know about these projects as well as all the other great work RAINS does. 

This is where we are so far…

Boys’ project

PREVIOUSLY… The last group discovered that many boys were dropping out of school to be engaged in farming and support their families. Through visiting the community and carrying out questionnaires, they realised that the best solution would be to improve farming through the creation of an agricultural cooperative. This would improve the livelihoods and incomes of local farmers, with the impact that boys would not have to drop out of school to help.

NOW… The next challenge is to actually set up the cooperative. After pinpointing the farmers’ specific needs (e.g. supply of seeds or market access) through meeting and questioning the interested farmers, we will organise meetings to arrange and then register the cooperative, as well as setting up training workshops for the farmers.

Girls’ project

PREVIOUSLY … The groups research concluded that a lot of young girls dropped out of school due to pregnancy, and that most were unable to continue their education after giving birth. They found out that the majority of girls have little to no knowledge of contraceptives, so this needed to be changed.  Together with Dinani Cultural Group, a concept for a community event began to take to shape to encourage education in an engaging way, with a drama performance and plenty of dancing!

NOW… Plans are taking shape and we’re currently working with Dinani and the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) to finalise the script for the performance. The PPAG will also provide information on sexual health and contraceptive use, so we’re really getting stuck into organising what we’re sure will be a great event!

Uniform Upcycling Project

PREVIOUSLY… After discovering the vast difference in school equipment between local schools, the group drew up plans for a scheme to partner privileged schools with less privileged schools.  Unneeded school uniforms, bags, P.E. kits, stationary etc. would be donated and distributed to students who do not have such items; this will be a locally managed project with the additional aim of promoting sustainable local schemes and reducing the reliance upon foreign charities.

NOW… We’ve already visited the local schools and introduced the scheme, and will now work to start up the program, from meeting Parent Teacher Associations and running presentations to collecting donations and presenting them to the other schools. The scheme should be up and running on a long-term basis by the end of our time here.

Social Media Enhancement

PREVIOUSLY…  A number of excellent resources were created to help teach RAINS staff about social media, as well as putting in time to improve the Facebook page.

NOW…  We will run workshops and implement the resources throughout the office to make sure social media is used and RAINS can get their message across, as well as developing the RAINS twitter (@rainsgha – Follow us!).