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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Every day is an Adventure!




Kingsley and the students in Gbimsi 

The weeks of research and hard work that the RAINS team have carried out has really started to pay off now that we are visiting new places and holding educational clubs with rural communities.

Our first outing was to Nanton Kurugu, where we were greeted by the chief in his mud-hut palace and welcomed into the local community. We held a constructive session in the local school in which we built on previous cohorts’ efforts in educating the children about teenage pregnancy and STIs. The children were very warm and engaged, especially after taking part in perhaps the UK’s finest export - the hokey pokey! It was really encouraging to see how much information they had gathered from previous cohorts, and gave the RAINS team a clearer idea of how to take real steps to reduce the risk of teenage pregnancy and STIs in Nanton Kurugu.

The following week, after a jarring 4.30am wake up, we set off to Gbimsi. Apart from a miscommunication over timings which meant our session had to run on super-speed, the community club went very successfully. The children were open and inquisitive about issues to do with puberty and personal hygiene, and because of all the cumulative effort of the RAINS cohorts, we are reaching the stage where the local peer educators are becoming empowered and trained enough to run the sessions without us.
The RAINS team playing a game with the students

 
Not everything has been plain sailing for the RAINS team, with many trips to the hospital and many malarial absentees. But to witness the positive progress such as that in Gbimsi is made more fulfilling by how much blood, sweat and tears our cohort have put into it! We have so much more scheduled in the calendar, so the remaining half of our trip should be an intense but thoroughly rewarding experience!

On top of our project work, the RAINS team has enjoyed learning sessions on topics such as the contrast between the chief system in Ghana and the royal family in the UK, and the difference in how we celebrate Valentine’s Day (14th February is also National Chocolate Day in Ghana, much to our pleasant surprise!). When we’re not working hard, the RAINS team love to relax and bask in the cultural richness of Tamale. This involves wandering around the local market while trying not to get lost, shopping for fabrics at the cultural centre, or testing just how much more fried rice we can tolerate. The difficulty of our work has definitely had the benefit of bringing us all closer together - the friendships between the UKVs and ICVs will remain long after we’ve had our last plate of fried rice and flown back home!
Alice and Beth at the Gbimsi Childrens Community Club



Written by Dylan Caines