We arrived in Sunyani on June 27th where we will be living for the next five weeks to work on a variety of projects that include women’s health education, medical technological servicing, engineering classes/activities, computer literacy, and an IGS Ventilator.
Women’s Health Education:
Team Lead: Amanda Moya
As in previous years, a project involving proper feminine hygiene education as a means of eliminating one obstacle every woman faces will be implemented in a variety of locations . Research shows that 60% of women in Africa have missed some amount of education because of their lack of methods to deal with their monthly cycle. We plan to offer workshops to educate the girls in the schools on creating their own sustainable, reusable products and educating them on the benefits, risks, and proper use of said products. We hope be able to host 5 workshops in a variety of villages to reach over 200 girls.
Medical Technological Servicing:
Team Lead: Joshua Geschke
Medical device graveyards have been increasing in prevalence all over Africa being that medical devices get donated and there is not an effective means to service them. By identifying and taking an inventory of these devices, we hope to locate parts and give service manuals to the technicians that try to fix these devices so that they may be used once again.
Team Lead: Summer Oley
As has been done in the past, we will be going to local schools with the intention to provide basic and interesting engineering lessons, hands-on activities, and discussions to spark an interest in the engineering fields. The activities will require the students to be creative and to work on a team as they build rollercoasters and catapults with straws, tape, rubber bands, and ping-pong balls.
Team Lead: Daniel Knenlein
The main focus for the time in country will be spent implementing a Rachel Pi and two Raspberry Pi’s, as well as assessing the computer needs of schools in the area for future teams. It is known that more efficient and well equipped computer labs are desired, so we will be looking at how future teams can provide this to the schools. In addition to that, computer lessons will be given to teachers and students to provide them with basic computer skills so that they know how to better use their technology. Through the continuation of this project, it is hoped that the addition of computer technology and greater knowledge will provide a better education to the students in these schools to increase their likelihood to attend higher education.
Team Lead: Joshua Geschke
The Innovative Global Solutions (IGS) Enterprise has been in partnership with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi with their Ventilator Project. We are going to meet the current team that is working with the IGS Ventilator as well as do an environmental analysis. We hope to continue this ongoing partnership between Michigan Tech and KNUST which allows for engineering students at both universities to globally collaborate.
We are very excited to actively begin our projects on Tuesday, July 4th. The first week spent in Sunyani was dedicated to meeting the necessary contacts for our projects, learning how to get around Ghana either by walking or taking a taxi or tro tro (think passenger van that seats 18, WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE), and researching/planning for our projects. Our country advisor, Andrew Storer, was present for the first few days to help us with the above, but we’ve officially been on our own for a couple days now! The team had originally planned to start implementing projects today on July 3rd, but were informed of a national holiday we were unaware of which has caused a day delay.
A Goat and an Obruni:
We would like to share a moment that we will never forget with you. On Thursday, June 29th, we took a 2 hour tro tro ride to Babienha, a village on the boarder of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. As we were climbing into the tro tro, Amanda realized there was some kind of head underneath her seat. Once she got in, she noticed that it was a goat! Whenever we would rapidly slow down, the goat would slam into her legs and if the goat was feeling curious he’d pop his head up and scratch her inner thighs. At one point, the goat actually fell out the back (the back was only partially secured with rope tied to the side windows and the rear wipers) and was running along screaming behind us until the tro tro driver stopped to retrieve him! He was then hog tied and brought up to the front of the tro tro to be sure of his safety. This experience showed us just how unpredictable and full of surprises public transportation can be here!
Until next time the team will keep being amazed by everything around us!