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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Antiire Tamale! (Good afternoon Tamale!)

Let's hope our photography and posing skills improve during our time here!
A quick introduction from the new Team Leader for ICS at RAINS, here to continue the legacy of Matt’s great work over the last 10 months... 
In brief, I’m a Yorkshire girl from Leeds and Sheffield, UK, and this is my first time in Africa! Definitely different from running a drug addictions programme in West Yorkshire! After a warm welcome from the staff at RAINS, we’re now into our first week at the office, solidifying our plans for the next 3 months.

I’m proud to say that for this cohort, we have a new team leader (me!), 3 national volunteers and 3 UK volunteers, who are all fantastic! I have a feeling this group is not only going to get on tremendously well, but with the skills (and personalities) they bring, they’re going to make RAINS very proud.

I’ll let them introduce themselves...


Jill and Justice

Hello there! 

Another opportunity has availed itself for us to share our knowledge and experience with our new crop of ICS and ICV volunteers, to further enhance the efforts of past cohorts at ameliorating the developmental challenges on Northern Ghana. 
We as usual are very expectant and optimistic that our newly placed colleagues, with fresh limbs and arms will contribute their quota towards achieving the goals and objectives of the various projects we are working on.
To our newly placed friends, we wish to say that, we are not only interested in sharing our knowledge and experience, but are also looking forward to learning a lot from you.
We wish to re-echo the content of what we all wrote as expectations of team members during the training at GILLBT. We call for;
  • Tolerance
  • Mutual Respect
  • Hard work
  • Commitment to team plan(s)
  • Timelines etc.
Hard at work discussing the Project Plan


The morning commute to work - taking in the beauty of Ghana

Awaaba! A word I have quickly learnt in this incredible friendly, colourful and sunny country of Ghana, 'welcome'. So welcome readers to the first of many blogs from the 6th cohort of International Service volunteers working alongside the Ghanaian charity RAINS. Before I continue sharing my first personal experiences of Ghana I better introduce myself. I am Lou (or Lucy for those of you that prefer Sunday names), from the rainy, hilly, industrial city of Sheffield.

The sunny, flat, low rise city of Tamale in the African Savannah couldn't be more different. Life in Ghana has been overwhelming on all the senses, and I love it! 

For me the most noticeable aspect of life here is the relaxed pace of life, something I feel that the UK is missing. People are not rushing about, too busy to talk to each other, wrapped up in deadlines and meetings. Instead the Ghanaians have time for people! The pace of life means that people greet each other, there is always time to chat and share, people here are a community. If this is just one week in, I can’t wait to see what the 3 months ahead will bring. 


Hello everyone,

My name is Titus, which means ‘pleasing’. I am happy to be part of this Cohort volunteering with International Citizen Service – partner organisation RAINS. I am motivated to do international citizen service to build upon my career of community development in Ghana.
It is interesting interacting and working with the UK volunteers but I think we are both straining our ears to hear because of our accent differences.  I know that they are learning the Ghanaian language and I believe at the end of the program we will all have adapted and learned new things.

My first day with the team was a thrilling one, where I was exposed to various games not familiar in Ghana, the games relied on team work and cooperative skills and my UK counterparts also learnt various Ghanaian games which in a way related to some other games in UK but with different rules.

Induction week at Gillbt Training Centre

Initially, I thought it was going to be difficult working with them but eventually, I saw myself integrating faster than I thought. One of them I realised shared the same ideology with me, became my ‘wingman’. We virtually discussed and compared development issues of Europe and Africa as well as various projects in progress and undertaken by RAINS.


I was apprehensive to say the least about travelling and living in Ghana for three months, however over a week in I feel so at home. We have been welcomed so warmly, there is a peace that lingers between people that I can’t say I feel when I would be in England especially on board the London underground. This first week has also been a challenge adapting to the heat and also because I fell ill, being in the hospital was a very interesting experience and for me especially being a nurse in the UK I felt how extremely different the system was, at one point noticing the hospital goat! Which I thought was brilliant and actually cheered me up during the waiting between treatments.

Whilst resting up recovering from being unwell I decided to sit outside, not long had passed until all the local children had gathered round me and all told me their names one by one. It was refreshing to see them play and laugh outside in the fresh air, bare footed showing me gymnastics and break dancing. When I asked to take a picture they were so excited and amazed seeing a picture of them, I loved that this wasn't a norm like in the UK where most children are accustomed to phones, Ipads etc. To sum it all up I think Africa is beautiful!


My name is Asher Aaron which means happiness exalted. My motivation for volunteering in Ghana is to understand the history of my ancestors and to come closer to knowing the violation of their rights and how they continue to be violated in West Africa.

In the past week I have made really kind friends who have shown me their country and how they live in Ghana, and patiently taught me some Dagbani words and phrases. I have been made to feel truly welcome by all the people here. My main interests are running, story telling & writing and I have shared in these interests with my new friends.

I fell in love with Ghana before I even arrived and have been heart broken by the images of poverty I've experienced, however these images are outweighed by the tell tale signs of a rapidly growing and developing city. Whether it's building sites, banks, influx of communication technology, schools, further education facilitations, sanitation or medicines, all these indicators truly excite me and show a country leading its development.

Stood with national volunteer Maurice after our first 5.30am run.  

Now you've met us all, please follow us to see how our team and our projects progress! Dahin-sheli Nbala (until next time)...