Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Amy's first blog

Yesterday I went into a rural village for my first time on this trip. What i saw was just poverty and I can't think of a better word or a more meaningful one. The dusty roads and mut huts that I see from a foreigners eyes as 'quaint' or 'typically African' are in reality these peoples homes, and If felt almost guilty for having taken pictures ones we'd passed, from a bus we went on to Mole NAtional Park. But there's nothing I can change about that whilst I'm out here - thats how people in these villages live. Development has to start at a smaller scale and that, hopefully, I can help with.

Yesterday I started my part time work at a school with an organisation called Maltiti, which shows parents the importance of giving their children an education, and sets up schools and after school clubs for the children to be sent to. The organisation is doing some amazing work - I hate to think what these children would be doing without it seeking to give them an education. WE actually saw a a 10 year old girl with a bucket on her head going into town to sell her produce. Her parents don't see the point in sending her to school. In this kind of rural village, the concept of having an education has to be justified to parents - how strange a concept to us! But since they believe their children will work the fields, or sell goods in town or in the market (not only 'when they grow up', but now when they're young too), they don't see the point in their children growing up knowing to read and write.
The school is in the village so it is accessible to the community, but there are no resources to teach with. I've started to think back to my primary school and just how many square objects and colours were in the room even, that we could learn from, makes me realize how priviledged I had it when I was young.

I also work at an NGO called PROWACID which carries out women and childrens empowerment projects in these rural communities. The focus of this NGO and Maltiti are to assert rights in these rural villages which should really be a given. PROWACID carries out small scale projects though, and seems to have focused recently on changing the traditional roles of women in these communities. Not only have they had to teach families that domestic violence is wrong (how 1950s is that!?!), but they also are persuading these communities that women and young girls should have opportunities to education, skill learning, and taking part in decision making. Right up my political street, as the organisation has encouraged women to stand for district elections, as well as encouraging people to vote for a woman, and has got a few women elected - though hardly a proportional amount! It's also like asserting feminism here - something I strongly advocate (maybe from my suffragist-school-upbringing...)

At the moment though, we are working mainly on securing funds to carry out individual projects. The projects seem to be quite sustainable as they use drama workshops, forums for discussion and one on one chats in order to get across the rights that the project is focussing on.

So that is a very vague overview of what I'm doing here. But hopefully as time goes on, I will be able to see the bigger picture of what both projects do and be able to see the results of my work.

To end on a light note, we had sooo much rain this morning that we're all enjoying a break from being constantly sweaty! And a few of us went to Mole NAtional PArk on Saturday...and then we all enjoyed a strange Tamale vs. Accra football match on Sunday which will be blogged soon!

Much love to all

Amy x


  1. Women's Rights - All for that Amy! Take care of yourself. x