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Monday, November 9, 2015

My volunteer experience with ICS in Northern Ghana. Edem BADU

Hi, my name is Edem. I'm from Accra, Ghana. I am on The RAINS project. Before join the International Service programme I had just completed my national service. However I was contemplating if this was the right move especially at this stage of my life where 3 months seemed so much and too precious to “waste” away.

  At Paga Crocodile Pond.
After long endless arguments with myself I find myself in Northern Ghana today. The experience here in the Northern region has so far been more than I expected. I was excited about the idea of the ICS programme as it is my first time in this part of the country, knowing that I am giving back to society and the rich experience and fulfilment I will go home with after three months was enough fuel to drive from Accra to Tamale. Knowing that I would be giving back to society while developing important social skills, and gaining valuable work experience all at the same time. This to me literally is ‘killing two birds with one stone’.
Life in Tamale thanks to the ICS programme so far has been different from what I expected. For example, I heard about the forever blazing sun, the very dry and dusty winds blowing over arid lands, how common and cheap meat is among others however, this is the third week into the programme and I can surely say these have not been entirely true. Apart from the fact that it is way hotter here meat is not as common as I expected it would be. I was expecting to be ‘a stranger in Moscow.’
Moving in and around Tamale has been so far easy. The people are generally nice. The culture in the north even though Ghanaian has certain traits peculiar to the Northern region which I have never known. Living in a host home, made up of a very large family has been a learning centre when it comes to knowing and understanding the dagbani as well as the culture.
Baseline survey at Nayorku -West Mamprusi.
With RAINS, learning about sexual reproductive health well enough to sensitize communities, in person and through the radio, conduct surveys, researching, and working with a resourceful and wonderful team.
If coming for the International Service programme was not useful at all; at least I will go back after three months having learnt some Dagbani. I will leave having developed my confidence, skill set and interpersonal skills through the ICS programme Meeting and making new friends. At least, I will know effortlessly more about Europe, more specifically the United Kingdom and I will also develop more knowledge about my own country and the different culture within it.