Archives - ‘Ghana’

Je me sens chez moi ici!

October 22, 2019 | Véronique, Service social avec mineure en Études des femmes, AFS Interculture Canada, GHANA, Human Rights Advocacy Center, Advocacy/Research Assistant

Je m’apprête à finir ma 6e semaine de stage ici à Accra, Ghana, avec le Human Rights Advocacy Center. C’est absolument vrai ce que les gens disent : le temps passe vite! Je suis déjà à la moitié de mon voyage et il y a certaines journées où ça me semble plus long…sans doute un signe que je m’adapte bien à mon pays d’accueil. Dès mon arrivée, j’ai été surprise par la générosité des ghanéens. Partout où je voyage, si je me perds, les locaux sont toujours prêts à m’aider.

Oui, la culture ici est très différente de celle du Canada. La religion joue une grande partie dans la vie des gens. La majorité de la population d’Accra sont chrétiens. J’ai accompagné quelques fois ma famille d’accueil à leur église les samedis. J’étais surprise d’apprendre qu’il passe toute leur journée à l’église. La cérémonie débute vers 10 h et (avec les pauses et la musique), ils quittent l’église seulement vers 19 h ou 20 h le soir. C’était tout un changement pour moi…moi qui ne vais presque plus à l’église le dimanche même pour une heure. Dès mon arrivée au Ghana, j’ai remarqué que les gens mettent souvent des autocollants sur le pare-choc de leur automobile avec des expressions comme « God is first », ou « Thank you Jesus ». Les gens ici sont très fiers d’affirmer qu’ils croient en Dieu.

Cette différence dans entre la culture canadienne et ghanéenne fait en sorte que les droits humains au Ghana sont aussi diffèrent aussi de ceux aux Canada. Par exemple, les droits des communautés LGBT ne sont pas aussi en avance que ceux au Canada et sont aussi moins soutenu par les Ghanéens. Les droits humains sont au cœur de mon organisme. J’ai une grande admiration pour le travail qui est fait au sein de mon organisme et j’ai une grande fierté de pouvoir les aider dans leurs recherches, et même de pouvoir les représenter à l’extérieur.

C’est une chose de lire et apprendre sur ces enjeux dans mes cours de service social dans un contexte canadien, mais c’est une autre expérience de pouvoir vivre dans une différente culture et pouvoir poser des questions aux experts. J’ai très hâte de voir ce qui est à venir!

Une des choses qui m’a surprise le plus jusqu’à présent est le nombre de rencontres que j’ai faites ici. Les gens sont très curieux à mon sujet et j’ai des gens de partout qui veulent être mon amie, et parfois pour la seule raison que je suis blanche. J’habite également avec une famille d’accueil et à travers la famille, j’ai développé un système de soutien incroyable. Je suis tellement reconnaissante et chanceuse d’habiter ici pour quelques mois. Je n’ai pas de mots pour décrire leur générosité.

Je me sens chez moi ici!

Five days left in Ghana…

July 22, 2019 | Alexandra, Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in International Development and Globalization, AFS Ghana, Legal Resource Center, Project Support Officer

I have 5 days left in Ghana and I cannot believe just how fast the time has come and gone. With just under a week left at my placement in Accra, I am left to reflect on the friends, family and the new experiences that I have come to know as reality during my stay. I’ve lived with a host family for 3 months now and I cannot express how worthwhile the entirety of the experience has been. After living independently for my entire undergraduate degree, I was initially apprehensive upon discovering I would be living with a host family. However, as I come to the end of my time in Accra, I struggle to imagine spending the coming days without them. My host parents are so warm and welcoming. My host brother and sisters have kept me entertained for weeks on end and I await the phone calls I’ll receive from them as soon as I return to Canada. The hardest part about this internship will be saying goodbye to the people I have come to know and love. I am truly dreading Saturday morning, when I will have to pack up my suitcase, head to the airport, and leave behind this new life.

Ghanaian people are so warm-hearted. People say Canadians are nice but I think the Ghanaians have us beat. I’ve met so many people that I know I will keep in contact with in the years to come and I’m more than excited than ever to see how those relationships will grow. In my office, at the Legal Resources Centre, I have met a handful of both local and international interns that I spend most of my free time with. I’ve made connections, both personal and professional, that will be of utmost value upon my return to Canada.

While I will surely miss the people, I know that I will also miss travelling around the country. My favourite places are Cape Coast and Kokrobite, both of which are coastal cities with beautiful beaches. As you can guess, I love spending my free time at the beaches and I’ve had the pleasure of taking some of the most breathtaking photos while visiting them. I’ve also been high above the ground, amongst the trees at Kakum National Park. The canopy walk is amazing. You walk on these wooden rope bridges from tree to tree, over 400ft above sea level. Ghana is also home to many botanical gardens, namely in Aburi and in East Legon. I can’t seem to shake the sense of awe and wonder that takes over my mind when I get the chance to travel across the country. The landscape is beautiful, no matter which direction you decide to travel. I’ve already begun to plan my return trip so that I can travel to the more remote locations that I was unable to visit during my stay.

I’ve fallen in love with the chaotic nature of everyday life in the country’s capital. At first, the incessant noise of car horns honking and the sea of merchants selling their goods along the roadside was intimidating. Now, I welcome these familiar sights and sounds with open arms. I know that when I return to Canada, I am surely going to miss the hustle and bustle of this vibrant city. That’s not to say that this trip has gone without issue. Rather, I’ve had many a moment when I thought I couldn’t last one more day, let alone three months. Despite these hardships, I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. Travelling abroad is such a worthwhile experience and it cannot be explained, only experienced. I look forward to seeing what the future holds, whether I am able to travel back to Ghana or elsewhere. Regardless, I am more than thankful for the opportunity to travel abroad with the university and I will never forget everything I’ve learnt.

Adjusted to a Life here

July 22, 2019 | Joyce, International Development and Globalization(Co-op)(French Immersion)and Minor in Political Science, AFS Canada, Ghana, Human Rights Advocacy Centre

I think the moment that it hit me that I was comfortable with my life here in Ghana was when I fell asleep in the tro-tro coming home from a weekend trip a couple of weeks ago. I had past the 1.5 month mark of the internship and had planned a trip with a cohort to Kokorbite Beach. We took the trotro and loading taxis (these are taxis you share with random other people who are all going the same way as you, in order to pay less) all the way there and back and I knew exactly which trotros to take, which stops to get off at, and was so tired on the ride home that I felt comfortable and safe enough to fall asleep. In the past, I use to get a little nervous every time I entered a trotro, afraid that I would get off at the wrong place, I wouldn’t be let off at the right place, I wouldn’t receive the correct change (or any change at all); but now, I feel safe when I am in a tro-tro – I am comfortable.

I’m used to the way that people interact with each other here, the do’s and don’ts of eating etiquette as well as the polite greetings to use when speaking with people in society. It’s been pretty crazy to see how comfortable with my life and schedule that I have here.

As well, my relationship with my brothers of my host family are very familial. There have been situations where I have gotten annoyed at one of my brothers or he has gotten annoyed at me but then a couple minutes later, we’re back to our normal interactions; as if nothing had ever happened. We don’t hold grudges nor is it awkward to tell each other when we’re annoyed with each other. I really enjoy the familiarity and closeness that I have with my host brothers. I hang out with them often and I will miss their company when I am back in Canada.

I have also gotten use to the friendships I have made in the workplace. I have gotten close to certain colleagues, as well as other people that I have volunteered with. I will miss the people that I have created relationships here; it’s crazy that within 3 months, I have received and created a community for myself here in Ghana. I have family and friends that I will dearly miss and aim to come visit in the future. It has been an honour and privilege to learn from my friends and colleagues on their thoughts on development and the issues that they recognize within the governance of their country. This type of learning is not something I would have been able to learn from academia or from any classroom.

This internship has offered not just the opportunity for me to learn about international studies at a grassroots level, but from a group of people themselves; I have been able to further expand my education through learning about a culture while living in it, directly from Ghanaians themselves. In addition, it has also allowed me to create long-lasting connections - I will thoroughly miss my friends and family here and I cannot wait to come back to visit them.

It feels like longer but it also feels shorter…

June 10, 2019 | Joyce, International Development and Globalization(Co-op)(French Immersion)and Minor in Political Science, AFS Canada, Ghana, Human Rights Advocacy Centre

It’s been 6 weeks since I arrived in Ghana! Though it doesn’t feel like six weeks, it feels like longer but it also feels shorter.

Ghana is a place where to truly get to know and navigate the area, there needs to be interaction with the people here. They are all fairly kind and willing to answer any questions. The transport system in Ghana isn’t organized (but then it is in its own way) like it is in Canada where Google can tell you how and where to take the bus and there is a clear cord to pull and the bus will stop for you. In Ghana, there’s no actual bus stops, you can just stand on the side of a street and a tro-tro will come by and you need to make sure you’re getting into the right one. A worker (called “mate”) is yelling the destination of the tro-tro through the window and you need to tell them distinctive landmarks/the stop you want to get off at when you enter. There’s no signs, no cord to pull, no bus stop awnings to wait at; as well, certain tro-tros only stop at certain places so you need to know how to walk there/where to wait – and again, these places are established by landmarks and known by locals, not something researchable through Google.

I have an incredibly kind host family. I use to live in my own room but they just recently took in another cousin-nephew (somehow related) into the home so now I have a roommate. This roommate is living at the house because she recently started a new job in Accra and is looking for housing – my host parents haven’t even met her before and agreed to let her stay in the house – just because she’s their son’s friend. In total… there is only one son living with them, while me, my roommate, and three other boys (who are related somehow to my host mom) are being hosted by the family. The house complex is incredibly spacious and they are so kind with what they have.

My host mom ensures that I am safe everywhere I go, that I am never hungry and even buys me dresses and insisted on getting some custom made for me. I’ve been really included within the family and taken in as one of their own.

The work at Human Rights Advocacy Centre offers me a direct first-hand experience with grassroots work. A lot of their work really is ADVOCACY. They present workshops and training seminars on the legislation of human rights issues of key populations (i.e. persons with mental health disabilities, HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ+). I am asked to attend meetings, conferences and training seminars (which have included travelling to other parts of Ghana!) and to write reports on them. As well, I have been tasked with two research projects and to interview clients for the Legal Aid Centre. It has been a good experience learning and working with representatives from different Ghanaian Civil Society Organisations firsthand.

Last weekend, I was able to travel to Cape Coast with a fellow cohort from the University of Ottawa. It was also an educative experience as it allowed me to see the conditions that victims of the slave trade endured and to learn about this section of history on a deeper level.

I am looking forward to the rest of my time here and getting to know the people and the country more.

Ghana is an amazing country !

May 28, 2019 | Alexandra, Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in International Development and Globalization, AFS Ghana, Legal Resource Center, Project Support Officer

It has been nearly one month in Ghana and there is so much to say! As a fourth year International Development and Globalization student, I am living a dream. I never thought that I would have the chance to participate in a program like this, let alone travel to Africa for my first experience outside of North America. Ghana is beautiful and everyday I fall more in love with the landscape, the climate, the people and the culture. My host family truly cares for me and their genuine nature makes me feel like I am a part of the family. I never question it. Each day after work, it really feels like I am coming home and I can’t thank them enough for this. It’s hard to believe that the time is racing as fast as it is but I know there is still so much more for me to experience in my last two months.

Life in Ghana is so different from back home. The level of collective culture is something I have not been exposed to before. People are so welcoming and kind – always willing to lend a hand. Not to say that people in Canada are rude, but the culture in Ghana is unparalleled. No matter where you go, everyone makes sure you are comfortable and having a good time. For example, this past weekend, I attended a wedding with a fellow student and her host mother. Neither of us knew the bride to be, yet we were more than welcome to tag along. For the most part, we spent the day discovering the way in which Ghanaian weddings compare to Canadian weddings while soaking in the music and other festivities. I’m trying to have as many new experiences as I can and the wedding was one I will never forget!

One thing to note is that there is so much diversity amongst the Ghanaian people. When hearing about Africa, people tend to generalize the continent and the people living in it. Ghana, just one country, is home to numerous languages and dialects as well as ethnicities and religions. There is no way to box the Ghanaian people into one category. It simply cannot be done. As a development student, I was taught to understand that developing countries are each unique in so many different ways. Travelling and working in Ghana has definitely shown me the intricacies within the country and it has become quite apparent that this is the reality in each country around the world. I challenge you, the reader, to adopt this understanding of the world and to refrain from grouping all developing countries into one single box.

I’ll be in Ghana for a total of three months working as a project support officer at the Legal Resources Centre. In my few weeks of work, I have done so many things that keep me on my toes. My fellow intern and our project manager travelled to the Supreme Courts where we sat in on Circuit Court proceedings plus I’ve drafted project proposals and presidential pardons, among others. The hours spent at the LRC are some of my favourite each day. I get to complete meaningful work with a great group of coworkers whom I adore and often spend my free time with. It is one thing to learn about legal practice in class but it is another thing to experience it first hand in a developing country. There have been so many unexpected joys in this work and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.

I have just two months left until I fly home and I am already dreading it. Ghana is an amazing country and working at the LRC has only heightened my experience. Each day I am working towards a greater purpose of helping those in need and those who cannot afford legal representation on their own. I know that when I return home, my goal will be to find a career in a similar practice. This is what I want to do and I have the international internship program to thank for it. I recommend this program to anyone who is interested as it will be an experience you will never forget

Week 10

March 25, 2019 | Lee, Honours-International Development and Globalization, Uniterra, Farm Radio International (FRI), Communication Officer

Currently, I’m halfway through my tenth week in Ghana. My last post mentioned how fast time has passed but that was an understatement. February disappeared in a flash and March seems to be following the same mentality. As my time winds down in Ghana I am torn with how to feel. On one hand, I am excited to get back to Canada and see all my family and friends. On the other hand, I know I will miss the people, lifestyle, and the constant need to see and understand as much of the country as possible.

Since my last post, I’ve been exposed to much more of the expat community here in Ghana. A community which is so tight nit that if you’re just meeting someone then there is a high chance that the two of you have several mutual friends. What’s funny is I’m no longer the “new kid” instead I have been the person showing a couple of new people around the city and recommending what sights to see around the Accra area.

I feel as though I’ve been able to get into the rhythm of things in Accra. From bargaining in markets to taking the tro-tro’s everywhere to greeting the locals in twi while passing to and from work, I’ve been able to feel comfortable and build a certain daily habit that I’m enjoying. I no longer feel like I’m being stared at but instead see myself to have integrated into the local community around my house. There are always six people that I will see daily who greet me and engage in simple conversation and that’s all.

These feelings are constant through work as well. I feel as though I’ve made friends within my work environment where I’m able to relax and speak to everyone. This has translated in my work as I’m more confident on who to ask for what information and how the organization operates.

The next couple of weeks will fly by with how busy I am at work and all the things I still want to do/see again. Before I know it, I’ll be packing my bags and heading back to Canada. Ghana has allowed me to meet such a diverse number of people in a very personal way that I didn’t think I would have prior to departure. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how I will feel about leaving until I’ve sat down in the airplane and the captain says ready for take-off. But until then, I’ll continue my internship and make the most out of the next three weeks.

My first month

February 11, 2019 | Lee, Honours-International Development and Globalization, Uniterra, Farm Radio International (FRI), Communication Officer

As my first month in Ghana comes to an end, I realize just how quickly time goes by. Within Ghana there are so many people from around the world which are very accessible through the WUSC and Farm Radio social networks. Just working at WUSC there are two people from Canada and two people that went to school in Canada. They’ve shown me the way of life within Accra from the food scene to how to work my way around the numerous markets.

The cultural diversity within Ghana is really intriguing. For the most part, everyone eats the same foods which consist of a lot of rice, chicken, fish, and beans. There has been a growth in international food available within the city but food prodominantly has remained local. When it comes to language, every area is different. With over 250 languages in Ghana, you can see the diversity and the deep cultural roots which have been implanted within not only the country but local communities. The people are very friendly and love it when foreigners speak their language. In Accra, (the capital) we speak Twi which I’ve managed to learn a minimal amount of. Despite knowing so little those couple of words will bring a smile to the face of locals and help in getting a better price within the market.

For my three months, I am working with a Canadian organization called Farm Radio International (FRI). The organization focuses on how to use local radio stations for development projects. My position is a communication and documentation officer. I am involved in many projects and help where I can. The benefit of being a part of a diverse range is a diverse range of work. I’ve worked on project briefs, event planning, and transcribing. Currently, I am planning my first, of two, training session. The work has been interesting as I’ve learned a lot about the specific barriers which projects face when working with local small-scale farmers which I wouldn’t have thought about while learning in class.

The diverse relationships I have built between international workers and locals alike have helped me in deciding how I want to spend my three months. There is so much to see and understand that the weeks have slowly started passing by faster and faster. Within these relations, I’ve made friends which I know I will see again somewhere around the world after my month’s come to an end in Ghana.

Émerveillée et essoufflée

November 29, 2018 | Émilie, Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in Conflict Studies and Human Rights, AFS Ghana, HRAC, Advocacy/Research Assistant

Wow, tout s’est déroulé si vite. J’ai peine à croire que cela fait déjà 3 mois que je suis partie à Accra, au Ghana. J’ai eu la chance de travailler pour une organisation nommée «Human Rights Advocacy Center». Mon rôle au sein cet organisme était dans le département de la recherche et du développement de projets. Mes tâches étaient donc très diversifiées, mais toutes liées aux droits humains.

Grâce à la fluidité de mon rôle, j’ai eu la chance d’assister à des conférences de presse, participer à des ateliers pour faire avancer les droits des homosexuels, travailler dans les écoles secondaires au sujet de la santé mentale, etc. J’ai donc pu expérimenter grandement le terrain en voyageant et participant à des projets à l’extérieur d’Accra. Lorsque je suis au bureau, je dois faire diverses recherches pour avancer nos futurs projets ainsi qu’écrire des rapports sur les projets ou activités que nous avons fait. Étant donné que je suis grandement intéressée par le sujet des droits humains, je suis extrêmement satisfaite des tâches que j’ai eu à faire ici ainsi que des connaissances que j’ai pu acquérir.

Dans mon dernier blog, j’avais mentionné le fait que je m’étais bien accoutumée à la région d’Accra et que je sentais qu’il était temps pour moi de partir explorer le pays. Et bien c’est ce que j’ai fait. Chacune de mes petites escapades sont des expériences incroyables et je suis contente d’avoir pu voyager au travers du Ghana. Cependant, je me sens fatiguée car je travaille toute la semaine et je vais explorer durant la fin de semaine. Par contre, étant donné que le temps presse je sens qu’il faut que je profite de chaque moment et chaque occasion de découvrir quelque chose de nouveau. Lors de mes voyages, j’ai pu constater que le Ghana est sans l’ombre d’un doute un pays magnifique avec une extrême diversité des paysages, dépendamment des régions. Il y a de tout au Ghana; la plage, les lacs, les montagnes, les étendues, la jungle, la forêt, la ville, etc. Malgré tout, je me sens un peu essoufflée et j’ai hâte de me reposer et de revenir à un rythme de vie plus stable

Ce qu’il va me manquer le plus du Ghana est les incroyables personnes que j’ai rencontré. J’ai tissé des liens d’amitié très rapide et solide avec des Ghanéens que je vois quelque fois par semaine. Ce sera un grand changement de ne plus les voir du tout. Aussi, lors de mon stage, j’ai eu la chance d’habiter avec une famille ghanéenne. Vivre avec une famille d’accueil est une expérience qui comporte des défis mais qui est enrichissante. D’un côté, il faut vite s’adapter à côtoyer de très près de nouvelles personnes et devoir s’intégrer rapidement dans un nouvel univers. De l’autre côté, être dans une famille d’accueil est un avantage immense pour se retrouver immerger dans la nouvelle culture et créer des liens avec le pays d’accueil.

Bref, lorsque je réfléchis sur tous les points positifs de mon stage, au travers des personnes rencontrées, du pays, de ma famille d’accueil et de mon organisme de travail, je constate que cette expérience en valait totalement la peine. Je suis face à des émotions contradictoires car je suis triste de partir, mais contente de rentrer à la maison. J’aimerais rester plus longtemps, mais maintenant que le temps approche, j’ai hâte de revenir au Canada.

Il ne reste que 6 semaines!!!

October 22, 2018 | Émilie, Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in Conflict Studies and Human Rights, AFS Ghana, HRAC, Advocacy/Research Assistant

Cela fait 6 semaines que je suis à Accra, au Ghana et je m’y plais énormément. Le plus dur était au début, car je me sentais très différente et un peu perdue dans ce nouveau pays. L’arrivée est le moment où il faut apprendre beaucoup de choses en même temps de devoir s’intégrer. Par exemple, il faut apprendre comment interagir socialement, comment se déplacer dans la ville, quelles sont les règles de politesse, etc. Jusqu’à présent, la première semaine d’arrivée est le moment de mon expérience qui était le plus gros défi.

Maintenant que je suis à Accra depuis 1 mois et demi je me sens bien adaptée et je réalise qu’il est temps pour moi de sortir un peu plus de la ville et de faire des excursions de fin de semaine. J’ai fait des journées d’excursion, mais je veux maintenant partir pour des voyages de fin de semaine, afin de sortir encore de ma zone de confort. Même si au début du voyage j’étai un peu déstabilisé, je réalise que j’ai aimé cela et je veux donc retourner à ce sentiment, en explorant plus le pays. Je dirais que c’est ce que j’apprécie le plus de mon expérience jusqu’à présent : le fait de changer d’environnement et de toujours devoir apprendre de nouveau. En seulement 6 semaines, je considère cette expérience extrêmement enrichissante.

De plus, j’ai tissé des liens avec des Ghanéens vraiment extraordinaire qui me font visiter et découvrir la culture plus en profondeur. Pour moi, cela est vraiment ce qui rend mon séjour ici incroyable. Je pense qu’il est important de nouer des relations avec des gens du pays d’accueil afin d’avoir une plus grande immersion dans le pays. Accra est une ville à découvrir. Il y a beaucoup d’activités à faire et d’endroits à aller. Cependant, si je ne m’étais pas fait des amis ghanéens, je n’aurais jamais été mise au courant de ces coins agréables. Certains endroits que j’ai visités n’ont pas de site internet. Aussi, la ville est située sur le bord de la mer ce qui est vraiment agréable. Le climat est chaud, mais il y a toujours un vent qui rafraichit légèrement. La mer est accessible et gratuite pour tous, sauf qu’elle est polluée. Pour aller se baigner à une plage qui est propre, il faut soit sortir d’Accra ou bien payer pour accéder à une plage nettoyée. Cela reste qu’il est agréable de se promener au bord de la plage et de s’installer dans un des petits restaurants, les pieds dans le sable.

La culture ghanéenne est très forte et, en général, les Ghanéens s’attendent à ce que les gens de l’extérieur soient ouverts d’esprit et essayent les plats traditionnels (comme le fufu – en préparation sur la photo). Ils apprécient énormément quand les gens s’intéressent à leur culture et apprennent quelques mots des langues locales, comme le Twi ou le Gan.

Il ne me reste que 6 semaines ici et j’ai l’impression que je vais manquer de temps pour faire tout ce que je désire. Je réalise que c’est une expérience précieuse, qu’il faut en profiter au maximum et simplement apprécier chaque moment. Bref, je crois que le plus important est vraiment de ne pas hésiter à essayer des nouvelles choses, aller à la rencontre des gens et à sortir de sa zone de confort pour vivre une expérience complète et enrichissante.


July 5, 2018 | Maria, International Development and Globalization, Tamale, Ghana, Uniterrra, RAINS (Regional Advisory Information & Network Systems), Youth Engagement Officer

Hello from Ghana! Or, Amaraba as they would welcome you in the local language of Dagbani. Throughout these past couple of months, I’ve come to appreciate the value of greetings and realize the integral role they play in Ghanaian culture. You’re expected to greet everyone you encounter throughout the day, even strangers, making it easy to start up a conversation. There’s a specific greeting in Dagbani for every situation imaginable; from greeting someone who has returned from the market to someone who has fetched water. This friendly nature has made me feel extremely comfortable living in Tamale and able to adapt. It’ll be difficult to say goodbye.

Tamale is the capital of the Northern region of Ghana. I’m volunteering at an organization called RAINS (Regional Advisory Information & Network Systems) which works to improve the quality of life for vulnerable groups in the northern region, primarily focusing on the promotion of child rights and tackling the issue of child labour. My job as the Youth Engagement Officer is to review previous and current programs and see how they can be improved to further engage youth, a group that has often been excluded. To complete this research, I’ve been reviewing documents, consulting with staff, facilitating focus groups, and meeting with program beneficiaries. I’ve also been doing miscellaneous tasks within the office separate from my mandate which allow me to join my coworkers in the field and attend various workshops and events.

As an international development and globalization student, I’ve always been eager to see development happen at the grassroots level to further understand the process and intricacies of project implementation. So far, this placement has given me the opportunity to witness community led development directly. It’s one thing to sit in my coworker’s office and be briefed on the current projects being facilitated by RAINS, and another to go into these communities and see the projects in progress: the school buildings that have been funded by RAINS, the fruits and vegetables being grown in the community gardens that have been built to facilitate participatory learning in primary schools, the bicycles that have been donated used by children to get to and from school, and the women that have been taught how to bee-keep receiving money for the honey they have produced.

Despite its small size of 14 staff members, RAINS is extremely well-known by residents of Tamale. Whenever I tell someone that I’m doing an internship at RAINS, it’s always followed by an eager response of praise. Almost everyone has either been a beneficiary themselves or have heard of the work that they do. It’s great to be working with such an engaging and active organization and alongside some very passionate coworkers. I’m excited to see what’s to come in the next month of my internship!