Angelina comes running up after school yelling ‘Sister Johanna, Sister Johanna!’. I smile and can’t help laugh as she looks up at me in her faded school dress. She smiles the biggest smile you’ve ever seen and grabs a stack of nets to carry on her head to help. We’re in the middle of a net distribution as part of Ghana Health Service’s ‘Roll Out Campaign’.
As we distribute and hang net in every household, one per married couple and one for every two children, Angelina runs back and forth from where we store the nets, making the process go a little quicker. She’s one of my most favorite people in my village but her name can be deceiving. Asking for a coin to buy a water sachet because she’s thirsty, she comes back smacking on a piece of bubble gum. My counterpart George Atoanan and I try to scold her but end up laughing instead! Even though she’s devious, she our little helper for the day and puts a smile on our face.
I’ve visited with her family since the campaign and see that the treated mosquito nets are still hung and I can rest assured she’s sleeping safe every night. Because she’s healthy and malaria-free, she can continue to smile her mischievous smile every day.
Celia Jackson, 26, is a self-professed “volunteer junkie.” The UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences Master’s International student has just received her Peace Corps assignment to Ghana and could not be more excited and pleased.
Bismark, my small boy, and Kwame’s son, decided to jog with me this morning and do a lil yoga.
He doesn’t speak English and my Twi is terrible. But talking doesn’t matter when you lead through example. I’m just doing me and suddenly I realize I’m not just a Peace Corps Volunteer telling cashew farmers what to do, I’m a role model to kids.
Cashew nursery at the primary school cashew farm - Reality, most of these kids may become farmers or inherit the land of their fathers and mothers. Might as well start easy with some hands on lessons in tree nurseries and grafting. My hope is that the school cashew farm can be a leading example in the village for other farmers. We will see!
The LAWRA YOUNGSTERS ASSOCIATION is an organization open to boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 24. The objectives of the Association are to educate youth, improve the community, train youth to become future leaders, to sensitize the youth against diseases such as HIV/AIDS, to organize HIV/AIDS clubs in various schools and to reduce the stigma against HIV/AIDS.
Marching is a long-standing tradition in Ghana since 1957 when Ghana gained its independence. Schools and community service organizations organize their students and members to spiff up in bright new uniforms and freshly polished shoes for competitive marching. The Lawra Youngsters prepared a banner especially for this occasion with the motto “Save Lives - Be Responsible.”
“Despite having a relatively large population of deaf in Ghana, there is still very little awareness about deaf culture and extremely high levels of stigmatization. The deaf experience isolation and discrimination in their communities and even their own families.”
Neem cream demonstrations!! I’ve done five trainings so far at the baby weighings held monthly in different areas of Sirigu. So far, over 150 women have learned how to make it and took some home with them from the demonstration.
This picture may not mean a lot to you, but it means a heck of a lot to me.
My hands down biggest project that I did in Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer was to organize and run a week-long leadership camp for about 30 girls from over 5 communities. It was a hell of a lot of work and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my fellow volunteers and the community that we held the event in.
One of the many activities the girls took part in during the week was the planting of vetiver grass. The guesthouse that we stayed in was situated on top of an incline and most of the top soil had been repeatedly washed away leaving the actual stability of the structure somewhat in danger. I have tons of photos that I took of the area before we set the girls to work that week, planting vetiver grass- one of the strongest and most successful grasses to help with soil erosion and slope protection.
We planted that grass last summer. The second GLOW camp (based off my camp) is happening this week and my friend sent me this picture to show how the grass has grown and is continuing to grow and support this building. In this whole scenario, the word “sustainability” actually means something.