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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Raining At RAINS




Coming from the southern part of Ghana, the Western Region, Takoradi to be precise, rainfall is something common to me. To add up to rainfall is green forest. Traveling up the north from the south, I could see a decrease in greener vegetation and an increase in temperature as a result of the scorching sun. This actually questioned my adaptability and threatened my survival for three months in the Northern Region. At the point I realized I have been placed on the RAINS project, I had no idea what it meant but ignorantly thought I will work in a team that will help increase the rate of rainfall in the Northern Region.
Radio campaign

I had this thought throughout the training until my first day at work, when the signboard read Regional Advisory Information and Network System (RAINS). In Surprise, I stood and gazed for some minutes before I marched under the early morning scorching sun into the office. The heat was unbearable and as I wipe my dripping face, I could read “quitting” from the faces of some teammates. After work, at home that evening, I was talking to Matthew, my UK volunteer counterpart about the harsh sunny conditions and something amazing happened. While sharing my dismay, my eyes caught the back of the ICS T-shirt and it reads “challenge yourself to change your world”. This turned my sunny challenges to raining moments and I am happy to share the few.

Clothed in nervousness was the day I was told I was part of the radio team that will be presenting in three days from the day of announcement. It was uneasy for me as someone who hardly speaks in a group but with the help of my team leaders and team mates, the challenge became a success. We were able to educate the general public through Radio Zaa on sexual and reproductive health with the aim of increasing the rate of young people in schools especially girls. The phone-ins and the text messages from our listeners confirmed the good work we did and I am proud to be part of the team.

Peer educators' training session in Gbimsi
With sustainability an issue hanging around our necks as ICS volunteers, my project thought of training young people in our working communities (Gbimsi and Nayorku). These young people, we will call Peer Educators (PEs) and their main responsibility is to be community role models and to carry on sexual health education sessions in their various communities. This will help increase their knowledge in areas like puberty, sexual transmitted infections, contraceptives, etc. it was another great challenge for me when I happened to be in the shoes of a leading trainer. While thinking about the worse that could happen, she whispered into my ears “pick up the challenge and make the best out of it”. I turned to see Ceci, a UK volunteer teammate. On the 4th day of June, 2016 which happens to be the training day at Gbimsi and the last project event for Team RAINS, success was raining everywhere. The peer educators were in attendance and the delivery was great with the help of teammates like Shani, Constance, Thush, etc. this is by far my heaviest “raining day” on the RAINS project. IT HAS BEEN RAINING SUCCESSES AT R.A.I.N.S.