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

Monday, December 11, 2017

Creating Impact and Raising Awareness Through Volunteering

My name is Ziblim Abdulai, a volunteer on the ICS RAINS (Regional Advisory and Network System). ICS RAINS project focus on promoting the rights of marginalised societies and also works to promote the lives of deprived communities and societies in northern Ghana. I was very happy and excited when I was selected to be part of the project as a volunteer, because I was not the only one who applied to become an ICS volunteer but, by the grace of Allah, I was able to go through successfully. Through ICS, I have been able to learn and improve on some unique skills through the team members and the project. Some of these include, I have been able to gain more knowledge on computer skills, build on my confidence level, learn how to work with others as a team and last but not least is that, I have also improved on how to speak in public which is quite a bonus to my personal development.

Abdulai Leading the Community Sensitisation in Nanton-Kurugu
Photo Credit: Harriet Braithwaite
ICS RAINS is currently working with three communities in Savelugu -Nanton municipality, which include, Zokuga, Langa and Nanton-Kurugu.  ICS RAINS introduced a project called "SAFE CHOICES" and the reason of  introducing this project is to educate these three communities on their sexual and reproductive health  and on kayayei. Topics that we educate them on about their sexual health are as follows: the use of contraceptives, prevention of teenage pregnancy, and to also prevent them from acquiring sexually transmitted diseases. We also cover topics such as puberty, masturbation, menstruation to mention a few. Kayayei   is our  major target in these three communities, because the majority of the young boys and girls migrate  from  their communities to the capital city of Ghana to work for money. We take this opportunity to educate them on the dangers of allowing their children who  go to Accra to practice kayayei.

ICS RAINS have being able to prepare a sexual health manual which will be given to the the peer educators in the three communities we work with.  These will be done by the staffs of RAINS due to the time factor. In all these three communities, we have peer educators and the role of these peer educators are to educate their community members on sexual health and kayayei on behalf of ICS. ICS will not remain there forever but the peer educators will continue to live with the communities always, and for that matter they can educate and raise awareness on these social issues affecting their lives. This sexual health manual will be given to the peer educators by the RAINS staff which will give them more details and information on sexual health, so that they can also tend to educate their communities on such topics relating to their sexual health.

Our Peer Educators Have a Key Role in the Safe Choices Project
Photo Credit: Harriet Braithwaite

We had three successful community sensitizations in all the three communities and three radio sensitization during our placement. During our various sensitizations in the communities, the topic for discussion was based on kayayei. We found out that kayayei is a big challenge in most of the rural communities in the Northern Region.  Kayayei is when young girls and boys carry heavy goods and wares for a fee due to the lack of jobs in these communities, kayayei brings so many complications and challenges to those who practice it. Some of these challenges include; teenage and unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, road traffic accidents, poor health and sanitation and sexual abuse etc.  Our cohort took this opportunity to educate and create the awareness on these dangers which I think will make them think otherwise, and consider the need for them to keep their young boys and girls in school. So that they can be become useful and accepted in their various communities in the near future and Ghana as a whole.

The Community Sensitisations Have Been So Enjoyable!
Photo Credit: Harriet Braithwaite

Now that our placement is coming to an end, I am looking forward to my posting which will begin between January and February. I completed college of nursing and midwifery Nalerugu. My posting will be done within this period and I will be very happy to start working as a professional nurse. I am also looking forward to seeing my parents and friends and have fun with them because I have missed them for a very long time and I cannot wait to see them.

Written by Ziblim Abdulai