First off, the team apologizes for our lack of update over the last two weeks after a couple of hospital visits (a nasty fall ending in stitches and a not great reaction to anti malaria medication) projects had to be moved back which caused a hectic last two weeks. We joke with our in country advisor that we’re the most hospital visiting team he’s ever had. We’ll break this blog down with the Women’s Health project and the next with the Computer Literacy Project, the main two projects completed in the final two weeks of our journey.
During Week 4 plans were finalized for everything in regards to the first Women’s Health Project. The original goal of having 5 different workshops didn’t look like it would be happening because of some communication issues with my in country contact but I was able to schedule one through my in country contact and another two with newly made contacts. Overall, the plan was to do one in Kumasi, Babianeha and right on the border of the Ivory Coast.
All three workshops went extremely well and ranged in time from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the group. There were girls from ages 11-25 excited to learn about sustainable women’s health products and germs. I made sure to have an interpreter present to ensure the girls understand everything I said even though all their formal education is in English here.
Each pack had 1 pre-made reusable pad donated from a church in the United States and enough materials to make two simpler reusable pads. As they were making their first pad and the interpreter and I walked around the room to assist them in the process and answer any questions they might have. I also had the opportunity to talk to them about what means they had used or knew of other girls using and some of the options were heart breaking and included things like an old towel or pieces of old mattresses.
At the end of every session I asked the girls if what we made during the workshop was a better means of dealing with their monthly cycles and every time all the hands in the room went up to agree that it was. After the workshops some of the girls would come up to ask further questions about materials and other differences they could substitute into the process to make it easier, a lot of them couldn’t wait to go home and show all their female family members! It truly made it seem like this project had made such a significant difference in many girls lives.
At the end of my time 200 packs were handed out to girls from Ghana and in the Ivory Coast and one group even had a special message to some of our supporters thanking them for their support! Unfortunately the file refuses to upload to look out for that in our overall video we’ll put together of our time in Ghana once we arrive back in the States.
Until next time!