Thursday, 16 February 2017

Kicking up a Storm in Tamale

 Here comes Team Indomie (WOSAG)!

Over the last few weeks, both the ICVs (In- Country volunteers) and UKVs (UK volunteers) have been adapting well to their new environment and enjoying their host home experiences.  In the Northern part of Ghana where we are working, it is currently the Harmattan season which means it is very hot and dry and mosquitos are in abundance. It’s definitely been having an effect on the UKVs, even resulting in some of them contracting malaria (poor Dernica! Luckily, she’s at home recovering right now). Unfortunately, malaria is very common here but the good news is that it is found and dealt with early and quickly.

Malaria aside, we have really enjoyed the last few weeks and we’re learning a lot and bonding as a team. We are now in our 6th week of placement and have been working hard on several projects which we wanted to share with you. Here they are!

International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)

Last Monday, 6th February, was International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM. Team WOSAG decided to hold an awareness raising event to observe the day. People could see us in front of Melcom, a supermarket in Tamale City Centre, holding posters and signs that said things such as “We will #EndFGM” , “Protect the Girls!”, “FGM is a Violation Against Human Rights” and “Ghana Supports #EndFGM”. We took picutres with members of the public who were in support of ending FGM. Melcom provided some awesome music and we did a lot of dancing! It was a great way to get people’s attention.

FGM has been illegal in Ghana since 1994 and the UK since 1985. FGM is normally carried out on young girls and women and can lead to severe bleeding, infections, infertility and complications in childbirth. It is a violation of human rights and WOSAG along with International Service supports Goal 5 of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) which aims to eradicate the practice by 2030.

Community Entry (Banvim and Kanvili)

On 26th January we went to Banvim to introduce ourselves to the women and men’s groups and administer a questionnaire to gain feedback on what they had learnt from the previous cohort and what they know already. Since they do not speak English, Mariam and Sala acted as our Dagbani translators (don't worry they're giving Dagbani lessons to the rest of us!). We had a great time meeting them and found that the women in particular were very knowledgeable. Afterwards, we proceeded to Banvim Presbyterian JHS and met Madam Perpetua (a teacher at the school and founder of the school’s girls group) and her colleagues. We administered questionnaires to 16 children , 8 boys and 8 girls, to find out how much the students knew about their sexual and reproductive health, sexual consent, menstruation and domestic abuse.              

The following day we went to Kanvili community and delivered the same questionnaires to the men and women’s groups there to also gain feedback.  We didn’t get the opportunity to give the JHS students our questionnaires because they were in class at the time but we will be back next week for a community awareness raising event so we look forward to meeting the students then.

WOSAG On The Air

WOSAG recently petitioned some local radio stations for free air time so that we could raise awareness about domestic violence , teenage pregnancy, sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and our event on FGM Day.  It went well although we were all a bit nervous to hear ourselves on the radio! Sala was really well prepared and led the conversation. What a star! We will hopefully have more radio slots in the coming weeks. It is a great way to raise awareness about WOSAG and the work we do.

Written by Sala and Mercy

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