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Friday, 25 September 2015

Introduction from cohort 14. 18th-25th September 2015

So here we are in the resource centre, told to write our first blog. we're almost a week in now and it's been crazy, hours of travelling for both the UK volunteers (UKV) and the In country volunteers(ICV) followed by training for us all.

Training was held in the northern capital of Tamale, where we are based. Here we met our In country volunteers, we are paired with one ICV to live within our host home and one ICV for the workplace. We also met our team leader Lukman.
During the training we had many talks on things that would help us during the placement, such as risk assessments and even a talk from a police sergeant and Doctor to scare us into staying safe while on placement.

We moved into our host homes when we arrived on Sunday evening, at first we were too tired to chat with them but we quickly became close and shared family photos and presents that we had brought, in my case some typical British sweets from M&S, butter mints and liquorices allsorts, which most definitely went down well. And i look forward to getting closer to my host family.
Wednesday was our first day at the Disabled resource centre, We woke up early, both nervous and excited to get stuck into our project. We started with an introductory presentation about disability in Tamale, including shocking statistics that 1 in 10 people in Tamale were disabled, that's enough to fill their new sports stadium two times!
We were then told to produce our own presentation as we were starting from scratch with new ideas. We started to brainstorm and decided to add statistics and videos to make it interactive and more accessible and remember able to the audiences we show it too.

Thursday was Eid, which is a Muslim holiday, as most of Tamale are Muslim we had the day off, many people were staying with Muslim host families and spent the morning joining in the celebrations, such as observing the praying at 5am, and watching the sacrifice, some saw goats slaughtered, and others cows. The UKV's and their counterparts then went on to a pool party at Discovery hotel, the UKV's were excited to cool off, whereas the ICV's were excited to learn how to swim from us, by the end of the day, three ICV's who couldn't swim at all beforehand were starting to paddle and float, the day was great fun for us all.

Friday we were back in the office, on Friday's we have a half day 8.30am - 1, we started by creating our calendar for the 12 weeks and setting deadlines, we're not allowed out of the community to do projects until we have settled in and been here 2 weeks, so we planned which presentations we would have to make and which letters we would have to write over the next two weeks. Including anymore religious holidays. We are all looking forward to spending the weekend with our host families and exploring Tamale and the markets a little more. We will update you next Friday with more news. Thanks for reading.

By Melody Waterworth

volunteer at resource centre for persons with disabilities. 

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