Monday, 8 February 2016

Womens rights, volunteering and seeing the Northern Region in a new light!

Nuhu Abubakari and Clodagh Ryan, volunteering with WOSAG
Hi! My name is Abubakari Nuhu from Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana. I am volunteering with International Service in partnership with Women Support and Activist Group (WOSAG). My team with WOSAG consists of volunteers from Ghana (ICVs) and the United Kingdom (UKVs). During the training process with ICS I met a lot of people from different parts of the country, I made new friends and it was very nice being with them. I learnt a lot in the training process about what ICS is all about, what they do and what they want to achieve in the short and long term. After the training with the ICVs, our UKVs joined us for more training and it was very interesting for me because they were foreigners. We learnt a lot from one another about our different cultures, the way we do things here, our languages and so much more.

 WOSAG’s main aims and objectives are to support women and girls on issues such as domestic violence, sexual reproductive health rights and teenage pregnancy. Their aim is to go to the communities and schools to sensitise them about these topics in order to educate them about these issues and find possible solutions. During this process they will establish peer educators and girls groups which will help them achieve the aim of the project. Currently, WOSAG is working in two communities, which are Kanvili and Banvim, and in each community they work with a women’s group and Junior High Schools.
We are the first volunteers to work with WOSAG and as a result we are to do baseline research so that the next cohort can use the research to continue WOSAG’s work.  This is our fourth week on the program and on our first and second week we were organising ourselves with the WOSAG staff, introducing ourselves to one another and discussing how to work with the communities. On our third week we drew our budget plan on how we were going to enter the communities; we programmed our research tools and the methods of data collection. In our fourth week we went to Banvim to meet the women’s group, we introduced ourselves and ICS to them, we told them who we are, what we need from them and what they will gain from this program. We also met with the Banvim Presbyterian Junior High School, where we did our first research of the program. It was very interesting because the students co-operated with us and their teachers also helped us to organise them very well. We had a little difficulty because it was our first activity, but in the end I think everything went well.

Hard working ICS volunteers in the WOSAG office 

We, International Service volunteers and WOSAG staff, will work as a team to gather the best information possible for the next cohort during the three months of the project. We will research the topics given to us, collect findings and report and feedback to International Service and WOSAG so that they can achieve their aim.

Personally, I have already achieved a lot during this program, I now know a lot about foreign cultures and other local cultures which I did not know about before. I would like to tell potential future volunteers that being with International Service would be one of the best experiences of their life. After this program I would like to continue my education and go to university because I have completed polytechnic where I did HND Accountancy. When I finish, I would like to join any organisation that aims to empower women and girls by continuing the fight for sexual and reproductive health rights and against domestic violence and teenage pregnancy.           

Author: Nuhu Abubakari

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