Lattitude Blog

Jeffery Leon Asamoah Blog Post

Jeffery Leon Asamoah is my name and a Latitude Global Volunteer for Football for Hope Centre Cape Coast, and also from Accra. I live with a lovely host family blessed with three children. They are really a family to be with. They are very kind to me and my UK counterpart who am going to spend the 10 weeks with. We are in week 7 and things are going smooth and well for everyone. Well as a volunteer we are here to educate and help or assist children and the youth as well as the communities both literate and illiterate to achieve a common goal and doing this we convince the children the importance of education, life skills and I.C.T since it has now become a must towards a child’s successful carrier whereby easily re defined yourself through it.

Latitude I.C.S in collaboration with Football For Hope Centre has really showed me lots of things. I have learnt how to socialize, opening up to talk to people or talk in the midst of people and also planning ahead of things and even planning on my own.( Solving of Issues). I was a bit shy person unable to get close to people nor even talk in the crowd. I can now proudly say I have upgraded myself through the help of (I.C.S) International citizen Service like speaking in public and also teaching as well. On a more serious note I.C.S programme has really had an impact in my life because it has built-up my confidence, improved on my teaching skills, my boldness when leading a group of people in an open or close place. I can now say am a better person now through the help of Latitude I.C.S. We had our first ever parent and awards day on the 14th of June 2014. We had committees to take responsibilities of the things. We chose Art and choreography and my group mate or colleague was Lauren. We had a long talk on what we wanted to do, because art and choreography talks more about Creativity. I went to town to by some paints, yellow, blue, brown, green and light green. Starch, A4 sheets, balloons and also permanent markers. We made all of the children dip their hands into paint and stick it on the A4 sheet and cutting them, we designed a tree with branches. It was really nice. For the choreography session because of the rains I had one week to teach the children some Azonto dance moves. But God being so good we were able to do it and we did it successfully. We rehearsed for an hour and proved to the parents that their children are not only good academically but also creative in many ways. On the parents and awards day from the looks on their faces and the hands of applause from parents, children, centre staffs, street league participants, ladies and gentle men they did liked it.

For me it’s a huge pleasure and an experience how to move and understand the UKVs especially where they are coming from and now I have the privilege to chat, dine and work with them. I want to use this opportunity to thank all the N.G.O organizations both in Ghana and UK for helping and encouraging children and youth to build a successful, healthy life style and careers to help them since we are the future leaders of our country and also to reduce the rate of unemployment and illiterate. I thank I.C.S for this one in a life time experience. Thank you. I have improved or should I use the word upgraded on my teaching skills and even know how to control and talk to children and even to the crowd and mostly learnt more about learning day. I think am a better man now.

Week 8 in Abrobiano

On Monday 16th June 2014, the team went out early in the morning (about 6am) to the construction site where we are helping in the building of a toilet for Abrobiano M.A Junior High School. This continued for about 2 hours after which we left  to prepare for teaching in our various classes. Our weekly Active Citizenship Day meeting on Monday was postponed because the Team Leaders and Coordinator went for an assessment of the new volunteers for cycle 3 in  the capital, Accra. Teaching continued throughout the week and the topics taught were Malaria and it’s Preventions for Primary 1-3, and Menstruation and hygiene for Primary 4 -6, J.H.S 1 and 2.

Our Wednesday evenings social was held at Sam and Isaac’s house. It was lovely as always where we played a ‘pin the tail on a donkey’ game, had coconuts and chat as well. We were warmly welcomed by the host family. Infrastructure work continued on Wednesday and Thursday at the M A Junior High School where we helped in the toilet construction by carrying blocks, water and many other things.

During the week there was preparations towards one of the awareness events ‘Inter-School Quiz’. Our ‘My Culture Day’ was held later in the evening at the meeting room and I led the session by teaching them about the Ga’s festival and their way of harvesting maize during this period.

Vincent acting as MC at our health awareness raising event - Inter-school Quiz

Vincent acting as MC at our health awareness raising event – Inter-school Quiz

On Friday morning we woke up at 6:00am to start preparing the venue for our inter-school quiz. Some of the team members were sweeping, others were carrying chairs and some were also fixing the sound system and projector for the film show on hand washing. Around 9:00am the venue (the Pentecost church)  started filling up with about 400 students, teachers and the three head teachers from the various schools (MA Primary, Islamic and MA J.H.S). We began the quiz with an open prayer and welcome song. After the quiz master commence with the 1st round which was on general knowledge. After the first round, other rounds followed up and later ended with the fifth round which was the quick fire. The score master then announced the result which was 66 against 54 and the winning team was group A. All the 10 participatory students were awarded with textbooks and a mathematical set each and the three schools received a hand washing stand, bowl, liquid soap and a napkin. The event was very successful and students were excited to see their peers in a short film on hand washing that was shown on a large screen.


Inter-school quiz – one team try their hand at charades to win a point

On Saturday we had a trip  to the Elmina castle and had a tour through the castle and how it came into being. It was really fun and everyone enjoyed it.  From the castle we headed to Cape Coast, at the Football for Hope Centre to play a football match with the team of Lattitude ICS volunteers in Cape Coast. We were warmly welcome and the football match started between the Abrobiano and Cape Coast team, but we were defeated by the Cape Coast team with ten goals to two (10-2). But at the end it was all fun.


Abigail Naa Torshie Obodai- Lattitude ICS Volunteer

Yoga and the forest in the clouds

Hello again. I believe that I should start where I left off and that was the world of yoga…


Now, being a 19 year old chap who grew up in London, yoga and I have not been acquainted and I thought that Ecuador would be the last place I would delve into it. However, I took my gap year to explore and I plunged into yoga for an exhausting, yes exhausting, session with an Ecuadorian student, university student just to clarify, and a few of my brave companions. After being stretched this way and that and being told to do things which make you go, what!?!?!?, I completed my maiden session of yoga and was hurting in places where I normally didn’t have places. I touched my toes a few too many times for a man off my inflexibleness. So for the days following I was walking a little slower and gingerly, pardon the pun, sitting down, but this did not dampen my spirits, and I was planning my next adventure, to Loja and Vilecabamba.

Loja is a smallish city located in the south and is renowned, in Ecuador, for its Bocadillo, a type of sweet which is made of sugar, obviously, and peanuts, but there are many different varieties that can be found. I found my Bocadillo in a whopper of a Market slap bang in the middle of Loja, where they were selling a large variety of fruit, veg, meats and fish. Post Bocadillo sugar high, I headed up into the cloud forest with my pals, Tom and Richie, and went for a bit of a hike. We walked up to a peak of 3500m, which was no easy feat, and then started our descent down the ridge walk. From the ridge we could see for many a mile and all we could see was forest mile upon mile of forest, breath-taking, quite literally. When we arrived back to our hostel we were, especially yours truly, very knackered and quite happily slumped into our beds for an afternoon snooze. Post kip we set off for some food and found a very cheap place just round the corner and we had a variety of food, I had goat, tom a steak and Richie some chicken and we all had a drink, the sum total for all of us was $6, bargain. We then headed back to our beds and fell asleep watching fast and furious in Spanish, very funny.

We departed the next day for Vilecabamba, it took an hour from the centre of Loja through the countryside and into the small town. We then had a small walk to our hostel which was amazing, run by a French man it had a courtyard and plants everywhere and whilst lying in the hammock outside our room I got a view of the mountains we were riding up the next day. The rest of the day we spent recuperating from the climb by an awesome pool in a hotel just down the road which was a massive tree house structure. So cool.

The day of the riding, we were all looking forward some in anticipation and some in dread. I myself was a little nervous as I am no expert on horseback, but I do have a little experience up my sleeve. We set off from the centre of town and galloped out to the start of the trail, a river which we had to ford and then a steep mud path up the mountain, it rained heavily the day before so the path was slippery. We continued up the path for 3 to 4 hours, so we had very sore bums by lunch time. Lunch was simple but appreciated sandwiches of cheese, lettuce and tuna all in brown bread, which is very common in Ecuador. Post lunch we walked to two waterfalls one was 30ft tall and the other 100ft, with very cold water that only the mad went into, Tom and Richie. After wearing ourselves out on the two and half hour walk we were the told that we were going to fly down the mountain but before departing we munched a very tasty and very juicy pineapple. After, true to his word, we went rather rapidly down and then galloped back to the stables and slowly clambered down off our horses with the great stiffness and pain shooting up our legs and upper thighs. Great day and our last in Vilcebamba as we would be heading back to school in the evening.

Now I feel I must talk about food, yep again, because it is so good and I have been trying my hand at some Ecuadorian cooking and introducing a few English plates to my family and friends. Ecuadorian meal times are rarely without a form of maize be it boiled, Mote, fried to make popcorn, mashed up and made into pancakes then fried in oil or mashed and then steamed in their leaves, humitas. The latter was the dish that I made with the help of Claudia, the uni student, and her grandma who knows the ins and outs of all Ecuadorian cuisine. When making the humitas you start with maize on the cob and strip it, and then you mush into a paste with a hand worked machine followed by a bit of onion, oil and spices to your taste. After it was all thoroughly mixed together we stuffed the leaves of the maize and then layered them in a large pan and then steamed till the leaves turned dark purple. The results were lovely if I may say so myself, and I feel I will make them at a later date, look out England humitas are coming.

Going from the local cuisine here in Ecuador to English cuisine, the sweet sort apple crumble. In England I would eat a crumble with most Sunday lunches so being in Ecuador for the past 4 months has left me with a rather large craving. Eating that crumble after months without one was the great but the best thing was that my mum learned how to make it and has made two more since!!!

I am afraid I must leave you here, it has been a whopper of a blog today but look out for my next with markets, Corpus Christi and getting lost in a jungle!!!!!!

200 English Lessons later… Final plans for the Chappy in China

One of the things I came to China for was to test my skills as an English teacher, and last Friday was my final day of working at Yunhe College!

Mixed emotions really; on one hand I couldn’t wait to leave so I can begin my final leg of travel, but on the other hand, it will be sad to leave this tiny, rugged, packed little town that I’ve been lucky enough to call home for the last 3 months. I’ve made close friends with a handful of students and others throughout.

Teaching has been hard at times, but also plenty of fun. Whilst my friends back in the UK have been taking exams, I’ve been in quite a weird position of GIVING exams to my students at Yunhe College. Alexi (fellow teacher) and I gave them 3 exams in total, each to test their ability in having a conversation in English. We had to create them, and decided to turn one of them into a role play for ‘Reporting The News’; each student in the group would take on roles such as an Anchorman, sports reporter, eyewitness etc, and Alexi and I would give them News Headlines that they had to make a news story out of. We had a lot of fun creating these headiness, here are a few of them:
‘No More Rice in China!’
‘David Beckham Joins Chinese Badminton Team’
‘Students Take Control of College and Change the Rules’
‘Yao Ming (Famous Chinese Basketball Player) Loses Right Hand’
‘Tim and Alexi Run out of Toilet Paper’
The students did a great job, and that was my final week of teaching!

But now begins a final 3-week-solo-trip of awesomeness across more of China before I head back to England:

First I’ll be climbing  the famous ‘Huangshan Mountain’ and visiting some ancient villages (18th-22nd June)

Secondly, I’ll be flying to Xian, where I’ll hopefully cycle round some more historical city walls, and pop in a sneaky visit to the Teracotta Warriors. I’ll also be climbing Mount ‘Hua Shan’! (23rd-28th June)

Thirdly, I’m flying to Guilin to visit The ‘Dragon Backbone Rice Terraces’, and then Yanshuo, for some more awesome scenery. (28th June-4th July)

Finally, I’ll be wrapping up this unreal trip in Hong Kong! Itinerary there has yet to be decided, but I’m sure I’ll find something (4th- 9th July)

So far, I’ve already seen some staggering views climbing Huangshan Mountain and seeing the Huizhou villages. I’m loving travelling on my own so far, met some fun people, and can’t wait for the rest of it.

Speak soon folks!

Week 7 in Abrobiano!

The week began with lessons on the importance of wearing appropriate clothing and footwear for the lower primary classes and the topic of puberty for the upper primary classes and JHS students. Lessons were active with students participating in a best dressed competition and older students asking anonymous questions related to puberty and engaging enthusiastically in class discussions.

Teaching in Abrobiano

On Monday we also celebrated Isaacs 23rd birthday with balloons, music and cake and a surprise gathering where we each dressed up as a ‘foolish man’, a character in Isaacs interesting tales that he often shares with us. To celebrate further Steph and Charlotte based their ‘my culture day’ on traditional children’s birthday parties in the UK where we played games like musical statues and pass the parcel.

Isaac's birthday  - Abrobiano 2014

Isaac’s birthday – Abrobiano 2014

For our ACD we studied human rights and governance in a session lead by Precious and Charlotte. We were also fortunate enough to learn how to make rings out of beads and wire from Abigail in preparation for a skills share with the peer  educators in the coming week. Whilst it was tricky we all managed to begin making some colourful pieces of jewellery!

With our second health awareness project being next Friday we were also busy preparing by visiting schools, making posters, rehearsing with the students and continuing to film every day of the week to create our handwashing video with young members of the community and we’re pleased that filming is now complete.

We spent our social evening eating sausage kebabs and playing Chinese Whispers at Precious and Charlottes house, happy to relax after the construction work that began on Wednesday to build the toilet at JHS. This included mixing cement, carrying materials and making building blocks. The construction work continued daily through to Sunday and is coming along quickly.

Building the toilet at the Junior High School

Building the toilet at the Junior High School

As the week drew to a close we learnt that we’d been invited to a local wedding ceremony. After dressing in our smartest clothes we shared in some of the ceremonies traditions such as eating sweets, bursting balloons and of course doing lots of dancing.

Volunteers enjoying the celebrations

Volunteers enjoying the celebrations

After construction work this morning we are now preparing our lessons and looking forward to our event on Friday and trip to visit the Cape Coast volunteers this time next week.

Liam James Week 7

This was a very exiting week as it was the week of the centre’s first ever parents day. It took a lot a preparation but it really paid off in the end. Firstly we made flyers, then grouped together our students and went round their houses to meet their parents and formally invite them to the event. This was a perfect way to personally meet our students’ parents and also for them to meet us and see who their children are spending a lot of their time with at the centre. Following this, each homework teacher was responsible for selecting two students from their class to receive an award. The awards varied from highest achiever to best behaved so that the most deserving pupils received recognition. It was heartwarming to see them and their parents’ faces when they received an award.
My main responsibility for the event was to compile photos from our cycle including Street League, Homework Club, Free Play and Core Programme. It was lovely to look back at all the fun times we have had at the centre and reminisce about some of the work we have done here. We presented these photos to the parents so they could see what their children are doing here. There was also an art exhibition which involved all of the children’s hand prints displayed on the wall to create a tree. Surrounding the tree were leaves with the children’s own messages about the environment. Following these exhibitions the parents were taken on a tour around the centre. The event was a great success with around 150 people attending, 50 of them being parents and the others consisting of children and Street league participants.
Hopefully due to the great turn-out and success of the event more children will join us at the Football for Hope centre! P6150190 P6150248

Mzuzu Project – Cycle 2 – Impact At Half-Way Point


Rationale: young people in Mzuzu lack first-hand information on sexual health thereby causing high rates of STIs including HIV/AIDs (which has a high prevalence rate among young people), and children lack information on general health and hygiene.

The Mzuzu project is working with 3 organisations in Mzuzu:

  • SBB- Saved By the Ball – Alice, Max, James and Blessings
  • APAUSE – Added Power And Understanding in Sexual Education- Ingrid, Gome, Ben
  • Mzuzu Young Voices- Ellen, Fales, Opani and Kannee

Throughout the project we are focusing on 3 activity areas to improve understanding of sexual health and hygiene of children and young people in Mzuzu including:

  • Awareness raising: connecting to young children on general health and hygiene issues. Currently this activity is mainly being looked at by volunteers within the Young Voices team.
  • Training: volunteers’ facilitation of training for partner organisations on STIs besides HIV/AIDS for sustainable use within organisations. At this point in the programme this is being focused on by volunteers within SBB
  • Peer Education: young people will educate fellow peers on sexual health issues including sexual decision making.

The short term outcomes of the Mzuzu Project are:

  • Young children will have a better understanding of health and hygiene issues as it effects their own health and growth.
  • Partner organisations will have an improved understanding of other STIs in addition to HIV.
  • Young people will understand options and consequences related to sexual health and sexual decision making.

SBB – Saved By the Ball

MTR Ping Pong

SBB is a CBO focusing on coaching young people in Lawn and Table Tennis. They also educate young people on HIV/AIDS awareness. They work with over 650 young people in Mzuzu.

The volunteers at SBB have received training from a medical Doctor from St John’s hospital. Volunteers were taught about the different STIs which effect people in Malawi, how they are treated and who is most likely to be effected. The doctor explained that the STIs are not tested individually but treated symptomatically. Patients would go to the hospital with his/hers symptoms rather than for treatment for a certain disease. SBB volunteers also received training from Luke international Taiwanese visitors which focused on different STIs from this and from team research we were then able to create our own training which we firstly delivered to the rest of the volunteers, so they could advise on how it could be improved, before delivering the training to organisational partners. This was then delivered to representatives from all 3 organisations. The training included games which illustrated how quickly and easily STIs can spread and focused mainly on developing awareness of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, syphilis and HPV as these were the 4 STIs which the doctor explained were most common in Malawi other than HIV/AIDS. From the training, delivered from both SBB volunteers and Luke international visitors, SBB coaches will start delivering awareness sessions with young people on STIs as well as HIV and Aids.


Mzuzu Young voices

Mzuzu young voices is a local NGO focused on enhancing the education, health and opportunities of young people in Mzuzu through a spell a word competition as well as a newly devised health programme. The young voices team will deliver sessions on hand washing and teeth brushing to every class in 8 primary schools in Mzuzu. The health programme aims to raise awareness of good general health practice amongst young children and improve hygiene care and reduce their risk of illness and contracting diseases. Lattitude volunteers have been conducting questionnaires and polls for 3 weeks from 4 schools. 200 children were asked whether they brush their teeth and if they use toothpaste. 90% of students claim to use a toothbrush and 60% told us that they use toothpaste. As children were asked directly by volunteers to answer the question during class there may have been an element of falsity to their answers. Polls were also taken during hand washing sessions in 4 classes, on average around 20% of children from shift A (morning classes) had washed their hands that day. Knowledge on the importance of hand washing was generally good however data needs to be collected in the following seven weeks on the actual frequency of hand washing during school hours. This will be achieved by recording the amount of times water from the tap bucket at each school is emptied per day.

Tooth brushing questionnaires will be conducted at all schools and at the end of the project to best analyse how the Young Voices sessions have improved school children’s hygiene. As an incentive for children to enter the spell a word competition Young Voices will arrange for health related prizes to be given to finalists.

MTR - Classroom


Apause Mzuzu is a local charity that aims to increase awareness of sexual health through peer education in local schools. The charity covers 15 schools in the local area. 3 of which the lattitude volunteers are working with. They are currently working with 3 year one classes from Mzuzu Government school, one year one class from ZoloZolo CDSS school and one year one class from Moyale CDSS. In total from all schools, they are working with 225 students of which 131 are male and 94 are female. All off which have completed questionnaires about STIs.

At the beginning of the programme lattitude volunteers handed out the questionnaires, asking specific questions about STIs other than HIV/AIDS. The answer from these questionnaires will create the baseline of understanding young people’s knowledge of STIs other than HIV/AIDS, which APAUSE members can then work on improving. At the end of the cycle the same questionnaires will be used to see how knowledge has improved through sessions delivered by volunteers.

From analysing the questionnaires which have been done so far we can see that young people in these schools have a simple understanding of what STIs are. The questionnaires show that young people’s knowledge of STIs focuses on HIV/AIDS, and that mostly they have a very limited understanding of other STIs. This is shown by a number of different factors, for example one question asks `can an STI be cured?` 48% answered no, showing they think of an STI only as HIV/AIDS also was asked to name as many STIs as they can almost all said HIV/AIDS and often this was the only STI they could name. There were also some interesting answers which have come from these questionnaires. For example Diarrhoea was given as an example of STIs and sharing a toothbrush was given as a an example of a way to contract STIs.

Apause focuses on teaching young people to abstain from having sex. Of those questioned 87% said that the best way to avoid contracting STIs is to abstain from having sex, showing the impact that the APAUSE sessions are having on young people.

MTR - Classroom 2


Alongside the work we are doing to meet short term outcomes volunteers are:

  • Working towards securing funding for organisations
  • Planning training in general hygiene for organisational partners
  • Planning to plan some generic youth club style sessions which have a focus on sexual health
  • Deliver training to teachers in Primary schools on correct and sustainable use of health and hygiene resources.
  • Mzuzu Project – Cycle 2 – Week 2

    It’s been 2 weeks since we arrived in Mzuzu and it’s already hard to believe how fast time is going. 10 weeks are going to up ridiculously fast. We spent the first weekend in Mzuzu undergoing orientation where the UKVs arrived after a long journey to be introduced their ICV counterparts. Both Mzuzu and Sangilo teams learnt about culture in Malawi and being updated on the projects that we will be spending the next 10 weeks working on. We also consumed an amazing amount of CHIPS for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Welcome to Malawi!!!

    Malawi Departure 036

    On the Sunday we were paired with our counterparts and moved into host homes, this was exciting for everyone, but also highly nerve wracking, as we discovered who we would be living with for the next 2 and a half months.

    Lattitude ICS is currently working with 3 organisations is Mzuzu. Apause, which delivers sex education to young people. Saved by the Ball, raising awareness of HIV/AIDS through lawn and table tennis, and Mzuzu Young Voices, which aims to enhance literacy in Primary schools through organizing ‘Spell a Word’ competitions, and raising awareness of health and sanitation issues.

    In Host Home - Ellen

    After 2 weeks at work, it’s becoming clear to all of us that things really do happen slowly here. ‘Malawian time’ is fast becoming something we are getting used too, but with a lot of hard work and determination progress will definitely be made over the next 10 weeks. Also a few words of advice for anyone reading this from the next group; prepare yourself to eat a lot of NSIMA!!! Don’t expect to lose weight because your in Africa, your bums will expand by the day and also if they tell you in the UK you won’t see a drop of rain, chances are……………… will!!!!

    Week 6 in Abrobiano

    As the weeks run out, they’re getting busier as well. And week six was no exception. All the volunteers worked effectively since they were determined and focused about the programme. Below are the activities during the week that ended in success.

    To begin with as usual, teaching went on in the various schools. that is MA primary, Islamic primary and the Junior High School. The topic that was focused on this week was “Rubbish and Sanitation”. Students were taught how to dispose rubbish properly and keeping their surroundings clean and tidy. We had Active Citizenship Day (ACD) during our meeting. The topic was on Poverty. We looked at it intensively on the community and extensively in the whole world. This section went well since we all as a group contributed in the discussion. The community on that day also began their festival that they celebrate every year. It is all about connecting the lagoon in the community to the sea. The aim of the festival is to harvest fish and also prevent flooding in the community since we are in the raining season. The name of the festival is “BAKATUE” meaning connecting the lagoon to the sea. In the evening, some volunteers helped in the digging of the channel.

    Moreover, Tuesday began with fishing which involved the whole community. The water level in the lagoon reduced drastically due to the channel. This made it faster and easier for the community to harvest fish in abundance. Teaching did not go on even though volunteers were available. This was because most students went for fishing. At 2pm in the day, the team met to learn how to make a football net out of water sachets. The team that is responsible to teach the Peer Educators this week met them and they practised computer skills and how to use Microsoft Word.

    Furthermore, teaching continued on Wednesday morning. Filming on personal hygiene also went on in the evening with students who are part of the drama group in MA primary. Peer Educators were taught how to use power point in presentation by the team responsible. Around 8pm, the whole team went to Abigail and Mattie’s host home since it was their social night. We spent some time together over there as a group.


    Also, Thursday also began with teaching. We had a team meeting later in the day in which we were taught beading. The aim of this is to have the knowledge and skills so that we can impact into the Peer Educators. My Culture Day (MCD) also went on with Matthew educating us about his culture. The sports and picnic awareness raising event day group also met to finalise everything.

    In addition, our first major awareness event took place on Friday. About 350 students, teachers together with some members of the community were present. 60 students participated in the sports activities. There were twelve students in each group. We had five races which include; relay race, lemon and spoon race, sack race, three legged race and tug of war. After every race, a health talk was delivered by the volunteers. After the competition, six students came out winners. They received water bottles as the ultimate price. All participants received handkerchiefs. All students present at the event were given fruits like watermelons, pineapples and oranges to promote healthy eating.DSCF5243

    Finally, we could not do our regular Friday meeting due to the late closure of the event. So on Saturday morning, we held our meeting. We first did some clean up exercise in our meeting room. The meeting began with an energizer. We reflected on what happened during the week and also planned for the week ahead. Everyone was present. And in all, it went well.


    4th week Football for Hope!

    It is now our fourth week volunteering in Cape Coast. We’re all starting to get settled into our surroundings and our work here at the center. This week we’ve continued weaving our water sachet net for the football pitch, cleaned the center and attended a Ghanaian wedding.
    During the week I usually teach Class Five Primary. I plan and give lessons in English, Science, Math’s, RME (Religious and Moral Education) and ICT. Teaching is something that is completely new to me, but I’m enjoying the challenge and finding it easier every day. Teaching the children is really satisfying as they like to learn and always interact and participate in the classes I’ve prepared.
    Another new thing we’ve learnt here is how to weave a net out of water sachets. We’re hoping to make a net for one of the goalposts here at the center so that both football posts have nets. The net is coming on well and it’s been a really interesting thing to learn how to do and to watch it grow.
    I also sat with some of the Street League members this week as they received a talk on sexual education from a guest speaker. The talk was quite different to how it would have been in the UK. The terminology used and ideas on homosexuality were very different to what they are back home. (Homosexuality is illegal here).This made it an interesting cultural experience, especially as the Street League members gave their own opinions and ideas.
    This week we were also all lucky enough to be invited to a Ghanaian wedding that was being held in town on Saturday. The wedding was a louder and more laid back celebration than it would have been in the UK. People felt free to get up and dance or even just pop outside to take a call and all the pastors who spoke were lively and energetic. The pastor’s told stories from the bible, (sometimes adding their own interesting twists and metaphors), gave the couple marital advice and sung, complete with a band. Everyone who spoke or sang had a microphone, so everything was heard loud and clear and it was impossible to doze off or become distracted, even in the African heat. All the guests wore very colorful clothes, as is the tradition at a Ghanaian wedding, and were very happily involved in the ceremony. They got up to dance and pray and would react loudly to the speakers comments.
    It was also really nice this week to work alongside the staff here and clean the center. Everyone worked really well together and did a good job. I feel like the exercise emphasized the good relationship we have with the staff here, who are always friendly and helpful.

    Staff and volunteers cleaning together at the center

    Me teaching

    The Ghanaian wedding ceremony we attended

    The Ghanaian wedding ceremony we attended