Going to Ghana has been one of the most unique and rewarding experiences I have ever had. Going to a new country with a culture so different from our own was a jarring experience but has allowed me to develop my view of the world and to become more of a global citizen.
Working with our partner NGO AFAWI on their projects allowed me to gain a real insight into the way that development work in other countries works and the delicate balancing act that they carry out day to day based on the work that needs to be done in the community and their facilities to allow them to do that work.
Whilst we were working with AFAWI our team were able to meet a number of the loan beneficiaries who work with AFAWI and to get to know them, the way they work and the way they live. We also got to explore different parts of the capital during our work as we often travelled to various areas to meet different groups of women.
We helped these women to develop their businesses by observing how they operated and making suggestions for improvement. We also ran training sessions with them on topics such as book keeping which we could then see the impact of when we continued our evaluation visits.
Our work with the local school to register a number of children for health insurance cards was also very rewarding and we were able to spend time getting to know the children during this time as well. This integration into the community gave us the opportunity to really learn about Ghanaian culture, as did our activities on the weekends travelling to different cultural hubs including the Ashanti region where we learnt about the history of their kings and queens and Elmina castle where we saw the impact of British colonisation in Ghana.
Learning about the culture of the country was an amazingly rewarding experience and the trip as a whole created a brilliant environment for personal development which all of the volunteers on the trip really felt they benefited from.