Friday, 15 July 2016

Episode One: Dagomba Street

The first day we were introduced to Madam Rabi who asked us to disclose our individual volunteering experiences. After a few contributions we were sat in silence. The term 'experience' had seemed to instill a feeling of inadequacy amongst members of the group.

'What I have done looks like nothing in comparison to the others', said Ben, before admitting to vast experience interning with the British parliament and and the Scottish Government. 'This is it', said Madam Rabi, 'our experiences are not limited to those in classrooms, official organisations and scheduled trips. Simply walking out of  your front door to work is an environment to experience.' This profound wisdom inspired us all to voice our past lives, and helped generate our new project mantra:

            Living is experiencing
            Knowledge is everywhere

WOSAG's philosophy is thus to be resourceful of the given environment, to utilize the available tools and to ensure the best is made of any situation. We took the clues left behind by the previous cohort and formulated a structure in order to pick up where they left off.

First, operation tidy-up was necessary. Mary learned how to use a broom, and the sounds of Bruno Mars and Bob Marley helped to make our work less tiresome and more tuneful. We drew up some office rules which included a lateness penalty which incurs smiling for thirty minutes if arriving any later than 8.35am, and we used energiser name games to get to know each other and break the ice, though the Ghanaian heat had already melted most of it. Our creative hands were tapped into as we made a group banner, the empty stencilled letters of WOSAG filled with colourful African patterns and designs.

With no internet access and limited power, we split into groups to absorb the lives of what battery remained on our dying laptops and devices. 'Maintenance' Mo divided the reading into groups using a highly advanced table system with flipchart and pen. Some of us explored the social media archives. Others focused on event planning and previous projects, which gave us an insight on what roles we would need to assign for own presentations in Banvim and Kanvili, the schools and women's groups we are due to make visits to.

The week of administration tested our patience, resilience as a a group, ability to organise independently and propensity to manage tasks from another team's instructions. It seemed like we had a lot to prepare, but after a sweep down and a readjustment, our surroundings were brightened and renewed; WOSAG is ready to revitalize.

Written by Ellie Gibbs
Edited by WOSAG Cohort 3

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