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

Monday, July 14, 2014

Welcome cohort 7!

Hello again!

Here we are!

After a successful week’s in-country training with all the new ICS teams in Ghana, the RAINS team has now arrived at the Mandela Development Centre in Tamale. This week we’ll be finalising our project plan for next 10 weeks work here and heading straight in to starting work so that we get make contact with schools before they close for the Summer at the end of this month.

I have a good feeling about this cohort, we have 1 new national volunteer (male) and 4 new UK volunteers (all female!), and have the continued support of 3 national volunteers from the last cohort.

Miranda (ICS team leader, RAINS).

Introducing the new team…!

Jill (returning national volunteer)

In the coming weeks I can’t help but anticipate IS/ICS Programme’s impact on my life and vice versa as we work on our projects, after all it is a learning experience. All I can really say is a warm hearted and resounding Amaraba to everyone on the team and ‘Mazel Tov’ ya’ll! To the British Volunteers, make sure you experience Ghana at it’s best and worst. Trust me, Ghana will touch you.


My name is Abdul-Rafiq Yakubu. I studied integrated community development from the university for development studies. I had my national service with the regional health directorate in Tamale and I also had an internship program with Wuni Zalgu Development Association (WUZDA).

As a passionate development worker and with the quest to see Africa develop, I am privileged to be a part of this ICS program. I see this as my first opportunity to develop my skills and learn from other volunteers. Helping vulnerable members in the community with this ICS program to bring about social change and improve the quality of life in the community is what I desire.

Justice & Titus (returning national volunteers)

Office work is here again, we have got to put aside the fun we enjoyed so much during the in-country training session. We are settling down well having being separated from friends we made during the training sessions, although we hope to meet them someday soon, somewhere and somehow.

We are fortunate to extend our stay on the programme as we consider it a learning platform on issues surrounding development work. We have acquired so much experience from our relatively short stay and are looking forward to acquiring more. It is our expectation that our new friends bring on board their expertise to complement those we have to work assiduously towards the attainment of the targets set.

We hope for a friendly working atmosphere and working experience with them all as well as a lot extra than work activities.



Hello everyone, my name is Lejla Damon. I am a new volunteer on the RAINS project in Tamale, Northern Ghana. I am 21 years old and I have currently just finished my BA (hons) in Advertising back in the UK. I became interested with international development in my second year of university, I started looking at various charities that I could do development work with as I wanted to be at a grass roots level. When I got a place with International Service I was extremely pleased at the opportunity, that I had been given. Previously, I had worked alongside the charity War Child in the UK as a part of their Youth Engagement Panel.

Being a part of this cohort I have simple and realistic goals that I would like to follow from the debrief of the last cohort. Also I have some personal development goals that I would like to achieve over the next 10 weeks. It's very exciting to be a part of RAINS and the team here. However, I understand that I will have to get used to the culture and the pace of development work. Overall, I am extremely pleased to be a part of this project and I hope that over the next couple of weeks we grow as a team and the projects prosper.



My name is Senna Rafi and I am an international volunteer from the UK. I am 21 years of age and I am currently attending university in England. At university I am studying Law with Criminology. I chose to come to Ghana as I am passionate about helping other people and would love to make a difference in Ghana, and the International Service has given me this opportunity.

The population of Ghana is 25.9 million in 2013 with 28.51 living below the poverty line which is over a quarter of the population. This percentage is higher in rural areas where one out of three people live under the poverty line of poverty. However, the percentage of people living under the line of poverty has been decreasing due to development. As in 1992 51.71% of people were living below the line of poverty and just over twenty years on this number has nearly halved. The RAINS ICS team focuses on eliminating poverty through employment and education. This is through three projects; Farming for Future, Safe Choice and Students for Schooling.


Hello! My name is Emma, I am 21, from Surrey and have recently graduated from King’s College London. After our first week in Ghana it is safe to say I am still adjusting to life in West Africa, but am excited for what lies ahead! There has been a lot to take in during our training week at Gillbt’s, and I have thoroughly enjoyed learning some Dagbani in order to greet Ghanaians properly. However I am now looking forward to the work that lies ahead with RAINS and IS.

I wanted to take part in ICS to understand and witness international development first hand and at grass roots level in countries. I think ICS is vital in educating both in-country and UK volunteers, and then allowing them to share that knowledge at home and amongst friends. Thus I am thoroughly looking forward to learning about the culture and community in Ghana and being able to share my experience. Having travelled to East Africa previously I am also interested in the differences and similarity between countries on the coast. Although I am sure there will be many challenges within the work we do, I am excited to get started and see what impact our cohort can have!


Akwaaba! My name is Raqeebah, from a quiet and diverse city of Reading. I am currently studying Biomedical Science at the University of Brighton. I am originally from Nigeria which is quite close to Ghana, so I had a feeling of nostalgia when I arrived into Ghana. Everyone here seems to be so friendly and relaxed. The people here are a community and they are constantly greeting each other and smiling which is really lovely.

My motive for volunteering in Ghana is mainly for personal development and work towards building a career in public health someday. In the past week, I have made friends both from Ghana and UK, been challenged to a dance by the Din Nani dance troop which was fun as well as nerve wracking and also learnt some Dagbani phrases thanks to the in country volunteers (Jill, Titus, Justice and Rafiq).

Also everyone seems to assume I am from Ghana, I am constantly telling people I am from Nigeria which then leads to a conversation about what Nigeria is like and the differences between the two countries. I have also learnt quite a lot about the culture and etiquettes of the people of Ghana.

By the end of the project, I feel everyone would have adapted well to the environment and culture of Ghana. I can’t wait for what the next three months is going to bring!

The team have had a warm welcome from RAINS already on our first day at the office. Please continue to follow our weekly blog posts to see how our projects progress (Farming For Futures, Students for Schooling and Safe Choices) and wish them all luck over the remaining 10 weeks!

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