Thursday, 11 August 2016

Episode Four: Bansim Buobi / Seeking Knowledge

The bright rays from the sun on Monday morning created a sensation among the WOSAG team that the week was going to be fulfilling. Mark turned up to the office about an hour and a half late and Mary and Shahema, who apparently had forgotten that he was sent to finalise negotiations with two radio stations, interrogated him because he was late. However, after a reminder from Mark, all was clear.
We were saddened and felt a chill of shock down our spines when our team leader informed us that Ellie had been hit by a motorbike the previous day, but fortunately she only sustained minor bruises and a sprain on her left arm. Minutes after that, Madam Rabi walked in with two beautiful and smartly dressed girls. She introduced them to us as Rashida and Mariam; Rashida being a newly employed staff member and Mariam an intern.

After lunch, Mary and Shahema went to the offices of Marie Stopes and The Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit to remind them of the training sessions we had previously requested. They also passed by the Cultural Center to further negotiate on the price for the hall we wanted for our walk-in workshop and they managed to beat the price down a further 20 cedis.
The office was filled with joy and delight when Ellie walked into the office on Tuesday morning. Her sprains were healing and she was feeling better. We continued our normal office work happily for the rest of the day.
Wednesday was a designated group learning day, where Mo and Al Hassan led us to the central mosque of Tamale. Mark could not go because he was to help the RAINS group with a peer education session in Langa. The visit was informative and the aid work the mosque does with regards to helping people furthered our zealous spirits for this volunteering experience. We were taken round the mosque by one of the mosque guides and he told the history of the mosque and how it was managed. We were also allowed to take pictures and videos.
Listening to information at the Mosque

After days of sampling and recording of the questionnaires administered during our school and community visits, the final report on the findings was ready. Maintenance Mo presented the report to us and the findings also helped to revitalize our motivation since they proved we still had a lot to do.
The officers from DOVVSU arrived in the office on Friday morning earlier than we expected. The two gentlemen took us through the various types of domestic violence, why people don’t report cases to them, examples of domestic violence cases, how cases are handled and  what we could do as volunteers to help curb the situation. The session lasted for two hours and by the time it was over, all of us were filled with the knowledge we needed to train peer educators on domestic violence.
We concluded the day with a meeting with Rashida. She re-introduced herself to us and gave us the chance to ask questions about WOSAG and how she could help us as a team. In less than 45 minutes, all floating questions were answered and every member of the team went home with one thing in mind: we should be the change we want to see and take responsibility.
Written by Maaniku Mark
Edited by Ellie Gibbs

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