Friday, 18 August 2017

Here We Come; Kukpehi, Sanga & Kpaliga

Wednesday, 9th August 2017 was our first community entry after weeks of planning. The whole team was buzzing with excitement. It was a cloudy morning, Latifa our trusted team leader was praying it didn’t rain, “the people will not come if it rains; she tells me”. According to Latifa, people don’t come out or do anything when it rains in Ghana.
Despite it being cloudy, our team spirits remained high; we jumped into the bright yellow van feeling like a bunch of school kids going on a field trip.  Madam Safia Alhassan the ever supportive president of Pagsung came along for the ride. So off we went, the driver started the engine as we headed for Kukphehi, the first of the three communities we planned to visit.

As we left the city like buzz of Sagnarigu, the green landscape reminded us that we weren’t in the office anymore. It looked beautiful and peaceful; the air fresh from the absence of petrol fumes reminded me how beautiful Ghana is.

We arrived at Kukpehi at about half past nine. The atmosphere was serene; the melodious voices of birds and greenery interspersed with locally styled houses presented an admirable sight. 

The group of women were gathered under an umbrella styled tree eagerly awaiting our arrival. It wasn’t only a gathering of women, many children were present, some sitting on their mother’s laps whilst others played on the open space. They (women) were pretty welcoming like most people in Ghana. They made us feel at home within minutes of our arrival into the community. Amaraaba (welcome) ‘Ngonya’; we responded in unison. After all the greetings were out of the way, Madam Safia introduced the team and we proceeded to identify from the women what aspect of Shea butter processing they needed training on. Madam Safia made the process easy, as she translated the information we provided to the women.

Volunteers interacting with PAGSUNG members in Kukpehi

The women wanted to increase the quality of the shea products through improved training on the processing of Shea, something which the team had discussed with the project partner. Another thing that our project partner wanted us to do was to create a database of the women in each of the different communities we visited. So we proceeded to do just that.  

As our successful interaction with the women of Kukpehi came to a close, we set forth to the next community, Sanga. Similar events transpired in Sanga as in Kukpehi. In fact, all the women dressed in similar apparel with hijabs over their heads. We had a great time with the people of Sanga community. It was interactive with lots of questions and answers from both sides.  The team’s arrival at Kpaliga was quite inopportune. The women were yet to gather as we arrived earlier than agreed.

 The visit was a success; we were able to identify the community training needs, some of which were outside the scope of the team’s project plan. All thanks to international service, to Team Pagsung and Pagsung (our project partner). The “Keepers” feel the plight of the communities and will work to lay a solid foundation for International Service to change lives and make positive impact in these communities.   

Energizer time: Volunteers and Women spelling COCONUT

Blog written by;
Abass Patricia & Itayi Mushambodope
ICS Volunteers-Team PAGSUNG 

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