A Partner West Africa Testimonial
Testimonial 5 of 102
Volunteer on gender ducation related projects with children and young people in schools in Ghana, West Africa

Emily - UK

Programme Completed: New - Female Health & Gender Equality

Date Posted: 19/08/2018

I volunteered with Partner West Africa for 4 weeks on the Gender programme. I was excited but apprehensive when I first arrive as I had never been to Ghana or Africa before. However, I soon felt at ease with the great levels of support provided throughout my orientation and local tours.

I volunteered with Partner West Africa for 4 weeks on the Gender programme. I was excited but apprehensive when I first arrive as I had never been to Ghana or Africa before. However, I soon felt at ease with the great levels of support provided throughout my orientation and local tours – especially after learning the local customs and cultural norms.

My work whilst in Ghana was especially focused on the Emergency Period Pack project – which I really enjoyed delivering, especially the ‘Super-girls’ empowerment song. I also participated in data analysis which enabled me to learn about the attitudes towards women and areas in which the communities appeared to be lacking. From my previous experience of teaching sex-education, I believe that it is vital that young women are empowered to understand information about their bodies and their rights – including contraception and consent. These issues also arose in the research, but I understand that it is difficult with the current culture within Ghana to fully address these issues, due to religion and a dominate patriarchal society. There are glimpse of change in Ghana with girls ‘rights clubs’ being created, and empowering girls to follow any career they choose. I look forward to following the continuing change in Ghana, and those inspirational women that are carving new paths.

Kokrobite is great lively place to explore, and I enjoyed socialising with the other volunteers and spending my ‘down time’ there. The food whilst staying with PWA was fantastic and Naa is an incredible cook and a definite highlight (although my stomach didn’t always agree!).

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with PWA and it has enabled me to understand and gain experience working in development, with a small NGO. I understood my role before I arrived, and I wanted to gain office based and project writing experience from this placement, because I had already participated in more ‘hands-on’ volunteering previously. The projects are very much dependant on who is volunteering at the time, the skills they bring with them, and how long they are staying for. This meant I was able to see the Gender and Nutrition programmes working and understand their local partners and project goals. I hope to see the work I have done continue and be of use to future volunteers, including the workshops and potential projects we prepared.

Overall I had a great time in Ghana and want to thank everyone who I shared the experience with.

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