Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Episode Five: Weather and Time

One of the interesting differences between the United Kingdom and Ghana is the contrast of reactions to rain.  According to UK volunteers, they find it astonishing how people fail to leave their houses when it begins to rain. Apparently, when it rains in UK, people still go ahead with their plans because they cannot afford to be behind schedule. This however is different in Ghana because most Ghanaian people believe that it easily floods when it rains because people dump refuse in the streams and gutters. This ends up blocking the path for the water to pass through leading to floods, which also due to thunderstorms as well as rain
A Ghanaian umbrella? Modelled by Zulaiha
An example of when the rain affected our attendance was during planned follow up meetings with radio stations. Due to the rain, we could not stick to our initial plans and were forced to meet all parties when the rain had stopped, which was much later during the day.  Although the rain affected us on Monday, we were very lucky as it did not affect our sensitisation program in Kanvili on Wednesday. Another factor of our success is the fact that we began the sensitisation at 3pm therefore allowing the community people to go to their farm in the morning and get work done. We first visited the chief’s palace and had the opportunity to interact with the Kanvili chief himself; he welcomed us and gave us the assurance of his support. During the sensitisation program in Kanvili, we were able to separate the men, women and children from each other in other to allow the people to feel comfortable themselves whilst the team was also divided into separate groups.

Ellie & Shahema dancing with the children in Kanvili

We got consent before covering topics, and were asked to speak on contraception, the communities also requesting for a penis model for us to educate them in order for them to put into practice what they learned. But before teaching this ourselves, we invited a person from Plan Parenthood Association of Ghana to educate us more about contraceptives and its types to be able to educate the Kanvilli community to our highest capability. This teaching was in order to reduce the unplanned and teenage pregnancies and maternal health care among young girls in Kanvilli.
We also educated them on issues concerning sexually transmitted infections and diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital warts, hepatitis B, candidiasis, crabs, genital hygiene for men and women, menstrual hygiene and AIDS.
Hannah teaching the women's group

We also discussed teenage pregnancy and domestic violence. We had invited a representative from DOVVSU and educated us in the office before we went ahead to educate the Kanvilli during the sensitisation. This pre-education helped to further advance our own knowledge as well as to refine the information we delivered to the communities.

Our Dagbani speakers presented with incredible confidence and knowledge, and we were proud to have Mark and Hannah lead the men and the women's groups respectively. Mary and Juliana juggled with the children who became wild and manic at the sight of a box of lollipops. The women both benefitted from the serious information and enjoyed the practical elements of the condom demonstrations. Our male volunteers emptied the box as the men hankered for at least
three samples each.
Hannah demonstrating how to put on a condom

Overall, we were very happy with the success of the sensitization and received much positive feedback from those we targeted. What would we change? Bring more sweets!

Written by Zulaiha Ishak, proudly part of the third cohort of team WOSAG.
Edited by Ellie Gibbs

No comments:

Post a Comment