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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I HEARD, I CAME AND I EXPERIENCED

As a person with a long standing history of philanthropy, I was finally handed the best grounds to exercise these virtues, when a friend introduced me to International Service. As the fifth child of nine, my generosity and affection towards my siblings and other people has earned me the title “The Unifier” from my father and now I have the greatest opportunity to improve upon these skills whiles on I.C.S. placement.

My name is Hamidu Kamal-deen, and having lived in Tamale my entire life, I couldn’t be any more content with another placement than here, the project partners I work for – RAINS ICS is as well the most befitting one for me as it involves a lot of community sensitisations and efforts to better the lives of the vulnerable in the society, particularly women and children.


Kamal, playing the school drums with the kids during a GLS session at Choggu Primary School in Tamale

The frequent questions on the lips of everybody about our host homes during orientation was; “how is my host home going to be like?” “Am I going to be treated well?”, “what food are they going to serve me, will I like it?” It may have taking some people some time to find the answers to these questions based on their host home experience, well for me, I knew upon arrival in my host home that there could be no better host home for me than there, even though I may have faced one or two challenges such as restriction to the use of electricity power in performing activities such as ironing of my clothes which is quite a common way to manage the exorbitant charges on electricity by most Ghanaians. My UKV counterpart, Henry Ellison, is a true English man who is well read and has a big heart and willingness to learn. I couldn’t wish for any better counterpart than him as in eight weeks already, he has engraved in my heart eternal memories of our stay together already as I teach him do his laundry and he in turn teaches me all about U.K. culture which I am so fond of. My host community – Gurugu Residential Area may be quite a difficult community for me to make a notable individual impact on the community members as part of my obligations as an ICS volunteer because this is a new settlement and most of the residents are strangers and for that matter prefer to stay indoors.  My host brother, Basit, has nevertheless handed me the opportunity to do that at the convenience and comfort of my host home as I get to interact with his numerous friends who come visiting everyday, telling them all about International Service and ICS and all that my work entails.

Eight weeks ago, before going on placement, the enthusiasm about it was so immeasurable as my eagerness grew everyday inching closer to going on placement, and now on my ninth week on placement, I can say my expectations have fully been met with four weeks more to end placement, I wish I had a time machine that’ll just take me back to my first week of placement. During these weeks we have had a number of sensitisation programs both on the radio and in our target communities and the success achieved in these was no doubt great.

Kamal and Victor in the studios of Bishaara Radio for a radio sensitisation programme

A sage once said that a man’s wealth is not measured by how much money he has in his bank account but by how many friends he has. I have over this course of time identified that as being very true as there have been countless occasions on which friends have salvaged me from what would seem to be an inevitable situation.

Everyday single day of my ICS placement has given me an opportunity to take a step closer towards achieving my self-actualization. This feeling intensified when Rains Programme Manager, Madam Wedad gave a good testimony about my cohort saying that we have been one of the most workaholic of the other cohorts she has seen there at RAINS office. I walk with so much pride and a great sense of satisfaction, being optimistic of what the future holds for me and knowing that I owe a big “thank you” to everybody who in one way or another made a positive impact in my life while on placement that will follow me in every single journey of my life. 

Author: Hamidu Kamal-deen