Testimonies





Six weeks in Ghana

Arrived at 8:05 in the evening at Accra-airport. The first breath of Ghanaian air at the exit of the plane was a little taste of what we can expect of the weather here in Ghana. Hot and humid air. 

Akwabaa! (welcome) was written over the entrance, we got all our luggage and after a little incident we drove to Swedru in a trotro. Our first trotro-trip. Everyone was very tired from the flight, so we couldn’t really experience the trip. After what seemed like a century we arrived at the “volunteer-house” in Swedru. We slept immediately.



Next Day was “rest day” which was a good thing, because there was so much to take in: the new environment, the heat, the humidity, the new type of food, etc… But then, next day Tuesday, we started our orientation week. IGI staff members introduced us into certain issues, such as: education and politics, general facts, health& safety, transportation and situation in the schools and host families. We discussed possible challenges and burden that might come and on Friday we were well prepared to go into our projects.
But in this week we didn’t just stayed inside and talked about all the mentioned things. In the evening the conference room turned into a sports stadium and we watched “Bundesliga” (german football). The people of the organization Hope For Life took us through Swedru on a little city tour and showed us the “croockers” the best-known pub among volunteers in Swedru. This was during the last weekend we spent together in the volunteer house.

On Tuesday, me and the other volunteers who also live in Akim Oda were brought to our host families. This was 5 weeks ago, and I’m glad to say, that it feels like home now. I really enjoy staying in my host family. They teach me so much about Ghanaian culture and have a good sense of humor. My school, Oda SDA Basic School, welcomed me very warmly and friendly and I am working together with a brilliant young teacher in class 6. Frequently, I am bringing my guitar to school to sing together with the kids. This works very well and also Mr. Richard (my college) is interested in music and singing. 


I am very sure, that I can develop some projects at my school with him. Even though it can be quite arduous to work a whole day with kids at the age of 10-16 I enjoy my project. I teach English and Creative Arts and I help Mr. Richard from time to time with other subjects.
I hope, I could give you a little insight of my first 6 weeks here in Ghana. 

Eddie - Germany
 






I am Sarah and I am in Ghana as a volunteer for one year.
I arrived six weeks ago and I feel very welcomed since the first day.
The other volunteers and me started our year with an orientation week in Agona Swedru. The members of IGI thought us much about the organization, the Ghanaian culture, the life in host families and many other issues.

After the first week Williams, the head of IGI took me to my host family in Winneba. I live there with Deborah, another German volunteer who arrived a few weeks before me.
We like our new home very much and feel comfortable in our family.
A week later we started our projects as school assistants. I teach mathematics and natural science in class one and I also help the students with tasks in the other subjects.

Sometimes it's difficult to communicate with the pupils because the children of the first class cannot speak English so well yet but the lessons get better from day to day and I always have a lot of fun with all the students of my school.

During the weekends I am able to meet the other volunteers in Swedru and sometimes we travel to other places like Cape Coast or Accra.

Ghana is very different to Germany. It's a new experience that everyone wants to talk to us because we have white skin colour, that we can buy things on the streets instead of supermarkets or just that the traffic is so loud.
I am very happy to be able to gain all these new experiences here in Ghana and I like the country very much because it's so beautiful and the Ghanaians are very open-minded.

Sarah - Germany






My first months in Ghana

I arrived in Ghana on the 29th August 2017. I was very excited, because I travelled alone, without a group of other volunteers. After the security check and getting the luggage, I went outside the airport and smelled Ghanaian air. I looked around, searching for anyone who looked like searching for me. I only knew, that Lawrence and Caro would pick me up but where were they? Confused as I was, I didn't realize Lawrence holding a sheet of paper with my name. Happily, Caro discovered me. We went to the taxi that brought us to Agona Swedru. My first trip on the streets of Ghana was very interesting.



So much chaos compared to streets in Germany. Everybody seemed to drive everywhere and all around you could hear the sounds of the horns. Also I learned, that you can buy nearly everything on the road between the traffic,  that you need: toilet paper, pillows, toys or something to eat. After three exciting hours, we finally arrived at Williams' place in New Sawmills – Agona Swedru. He and his family welcomed me very warmly and I felt very comfortable.
The next days I had my orientation with Ophelia, Caro and Lawrence. They told me a lot of important information about Ghana, the life in the host family, the culture, crime and tourism, the schools and our projects.

Also I went to town together with Caro and she showed me the most important places, I remember, I was totally confused and irritated from the town and nearly everything. Now, two months later, it is totally different and I got to know the main parts of the town. According to this, it is completely normal, that every child and some adults always shout "obroni, obroni" when they see me. First, I was a bit irritated about that, but I learned, that most of them are easily happy to see a white person and want to show that.

My hostfamily is really great and lovely. I live together with Williams, his wife, Margaret, and his niece, Maa Akua. I also have a hostsister, Caro, but she lives in Oda. We understand each other very good and have a lot of fun together. They help and support me when I have questions and care for me very well, especially with food. I really like Ghanaian foods and Margaret is a wonderful cook. I think, I got nearly everything from fufu, banku up to kenkey or anything with yam. First it was a bit hot for me, but now it is very fine and I like it.

I made my first travels to Busua and Cape Coast. I went there with a few old volunteers that asked me to come with them. It was very exciting, because travelling in Ghana is also totally different from travelling in Germany. You go by trotro or taxi with the entire luggage on your knees. I was very happy to have the old ones with me, showing me a lot and giving a lot of helpful tips. Busua is very beautiful and nice, not too many people in this village. So it was very relaxing there. It was different in Cape Coast, the town is much bigger. I visited the Kakum National Park and the Castle of Cape Coast. That was very interesting and a bit depressing because of its bad history including slavery and death.

When all the other volunteers from Hope for Life and Kulturlife had arrived, we all visited the IGI land where the IGI skill center will be built. We made a small citytour, helped to share donated clothes and played with the children. It is awesome what IGI plans to build over there to help all the people in the communities in this area.

Finally, after being five weeks in Ghana, I started to work in my project, the GLOVO Academy.  Most of the children that are going to this school are very poor and some need the support from IGI or private persons. In Germany I am a teacher as well, but working here in Ghana is totally different to that. Starting with the buildings with no windows or doors and all the animals, that might enter your classroom during the lesson: lizards, spiders, butterflies, ants or maybe a chicken are normal. In my motherland, this would never happen. In addition to that, we have no electricity at Glovo Academy and if it rains, it is so loud, that you cannot understand your own words. Furthermore, my pupils in Germany would not like to copy so many things from the board, they always get photocopies for everything and here it is normal. But I love to go to school here, to work with the children and to support the teachers in their work.

Maria - Germany







First Month In Ghana

26th August this year - my year in Ghana finally begins!
Being a volunteer for twelve months as the school assistant of the A.W.M.A. ‘E' Basic School in Agona Swedru, Ghana for the Ghanaian organization Inspire Global Ideas (IGI).

We, eleven volunteers from Germany, arrived at midnight in Accra, Kotako International Airport - getting out of the plane and being welcomed by 28°C. After the security-checks our projects managers were waiting for us to take us to the volunteer house in Agona Swedru where we stayed for the first week: Orientation-Week.

We had for the first whole week Orientation  which means that we talked about the Ghanaian culture, our duties and purposes as volunteer of the German government, issues white people could possible face during their time in Ghana, the visa, our projects and host families, the organization we are working for, the Ghanaian educational system, healthness and many more things.

During that week we got to know all the members working for IGI, our mentors with whom we are going to meet regularly within the year to be supported and adviced in all cases and the other volunteers IGI is working with. Furthermore we had the opportunity to get to know the city - our hometown for the next year - and to spend more time with all the volunteers.
All together we went through the streets for the first time, spotting all the goats and dogs and chicken walking around, seeing the rubbish lying around, experiencing what taxi-driving means in Ghana, ...
Through all the discussing we got to know each other much better and that really made me feel safe - we are all going to do the same thing which is spending one year abroad in a different country and continent than we lived before, away from everyone we knew so far: totally exciting and it connects us as a group!
We also went to visit a village during the week which is owned by IGI and spent a day with the village-people which was in some ways shocking because life in the rural areas in Ghana differs from life in towns - anyhow it was an incredible day with already so many experiences.

After that amazing first week we were finally sent to our host families - the next chapter starts!
Our boss sent us - one after the other. He talked to our host parents and made sure that we arrived safe at our new home. My family consists of six people
My host mum who is rather quiet but really polite and nice while her husband is working in Germany and only comes to Ghana for three months a year so I did not see him till now. They are having two kids of which the first born daughter is 16 years and the second one is just 2 months old. As going on they are taking care of their eight-years-old niece and nine-years-old nephew.
In general is the family life totally different to the one I know from Germany, e.g. is the family showing respect when they eat separately from you - different culture, different habits!
Spending time with people you do not know but having the fact in mind that this is going to be your family for the next year is kind of strange but within a short period of time I got to know everyone quite well and now I already have the feeling of coming home.

Agona Swedru
From the first morning waking up in Ghana I took ghanaian food: A lot of people here like porridge, rice-water, ‘Tom Brown’ (peanuts, soya beans and maize put together), traditional food like e.g. fufu, yam, sweet potatoe, stew (sauce with vegetables or meat)  - in general heavy food. Most Ghanaian's eat a lot of rice and noodles mixed with vegetables (Fried Rice;Indomy). Fish is also common just as chicken and goat. On the streets you can get fruits and vegetables like pineapple, papaya, plantain, banana, avocado, oranges, tomatoes, ... A lot of people are selling hot food or snacks on the streets so if you get hungry you find something to eat everywhere you go. You also find bread here but that is mostly sweet so in terms of food it is all quite different from what I eat to at what time of the day I eat something because my breakfast in my host family is e.g. often noodles with stew.
Another great difference to Germany: The behavior of the people. There is no Hello  without the following question: "How are you?" - everyone who is greeting you asks you that and in general people are greeting you from everywhere because everyone wants to be friends with an "obroni" (= white person). Sometimes people are asking for your number before knowing your name; sometimes they give you things from their shop without you paying for them; sometimes kids look at you and start smiling, crying, running towards you and holding a white person hand; sometimes people are touching your hair because of pure fascination about it; people say they want to marry you even though they are already married; sometimes people are asking you for money; sometimes people want to trick you on the markets or in a taxi to get more money than usually; sometimes, sometimes, sometimes ...
When you are asking people for help everyone is willing to help you immediately with anyting you need. There are so many things I already experienced in just a month's time.

Religion plays a big role here in Ghana. My host family is christian and a service in church takes about four hours - for hours of singing, dancing, praying, worshiping, preaching, reading from the bible, ... An experience I will never forget!

Finally: Our first day at school! In the morning I met with some of the IGI-members and they took me to school then. We had a meeting with my headmistress where my mentor made clear what they expect from the school hosting a volunteer and we agreed that I would look around for the first week.
So I went to Kindergarten 1 & 2, classes BS1 - BS6 and JHS1 - JHS3 to get an overview of the whole school, to get to know the students, to see how the teachers teach, to learn about the interaction between teachers and students and to spot my place in that school - finally I am now in BS4,  but I also have classes in BS5 and BS6 and soon maybe also in JHS1 - JHS3. My smallest class has 51 students, my biggest one 73 so it is a challenge to teach.
The pupils are used to only one punishment: Caning. I do not want to do that so it is hard to make them understand that they still have to be quiet even though they will not get caned if they fool. In general: Caning is something mostly every teacher does even though some say they do not really like it - almost everyone does it. In the beginning it was really hard for me to see that and I still do not support it but I learn to cope with it because I just cannot make it go away.
I am still looking for something with what I can give my very input to that school to make it a little better and to achieve something good for everyone - for now I am just teaching and assisting in class.

Ghana is a country to travel! Till now I only had the weekends to go on short trips but it was already amazing! With other volunteers we took Trotros to go to other towns like Cape Coast, Winneba, Akim Oda and so on enjoying the beach, green landscapes, cocoa-farms, markets, getting to know other Ghanaian and travelers, having different food, ...

All those things I experienced alone and with other volunteers and people I got to know during my time here so sharing memories also plays a big role in my new everyday-life here in Ghana. Working at my school is an important enrichment for me everyday and I am looking forward to the next eleven months which are coming: Other short and long trips are planned already and life here surprises you everyday!

Stella - Germany





My first two months in Ghana

On the fourth of August 2017 my adventure in Ghana started. This has already been more than two months ago and should be full of surprises and new experiences.
I want to open this report with the first experience I made in Ghana. Directly after a more than 24 hour trip we finally arrived at the airport of Accra, the capital of Ghana. I was about to meet my first Ghanaian, which appeared to be the IGI-team, who welcomed all the volunteers with their Ghanaian heartness. We took a trotro in order to drive to the voluntary house, where we were supposed to have a week of orientation. In this week I learned the basics about the culture and the correct way of behaving, which helped me to integrate.


 In this week I also had my first experiences with the local food, which tasted delicious from the very beginning. I did not expect it to be tasty to me, especially because of the spiciness, but I feel like my host family made it easy for me.
My host family is really kind to me and takes good care of me; especially their five years old son Alex. He really likes talking, if he is bored and he always finds a way to keep me busy. Even though I am only two months in Ghana, I am already thinking about missing them back in Germany.
But for now, I am happy to say me still having ten months to stay in Ghana and teach at a basic school with a lot of more or less motivated students. Most of the time I teach ICT (Information and Communication Technology), Creative Arts or P.E (Physical Education). There is a lot of work for me to do with correcting exercises, when not teaching.
Since our service in school started one month after our arrival, we used our time to travel to different places. We went to Cape Coast, which is the perfect place to relax at the beach, but also to learn more about the culture. Therefore I went to the castle, where the slavery period of Ghana’s history is shown and the pain and sadness it caused. Furthermore, the Kakum National Park is a peaceful place to discover the rainforest from suspension bridges. If I am not in school or at home, I like to spend my free time on weekends with travelling and discovering the country, because there is so much more to discover.

The organization IGI even offered us volunteers to plan our own projects, which we already started. We travelled to the IGI land, where a complex is going to be to support the more poor natives. The entire volunteers started a project to support them even more by visiting the villages where they live to find a way of supporting them.

Kim - Germany





FEELING HOME BEING DIFFERENT 
                               

Arriving in Ghana was strange. It was just like somebody erased all your imaginations and replaced it with the reality. Not that this would be something bad, but it is different to think about being to Ghana than to really buy stuff on the market, feel the country and listen to all the people.
My group and I had a very warm-hearted welcome at the volunteer house. One of the other volunteers described the house and the orientation week perfectly. Because you have a safe place where people are taking care of you very well and know how you feel being new to Ghana, you do not have the feeling that you are helpless. Surely, everlasting feels strange. Being in a taxi alone for the first time, dropping off in a town that has a very complex structure or being new to a totally different social system, but because IGI offers you to be in the volunteer house, you always have a place to come back to as long as you are not used to all the new things in your life.

One of the most important things for me when it comes down to sending or receiving organizations is the communication and the structure. With IGI I felt good since the very first start. During the orientation week, they told us a lot of things that were new to me. Even if my preparation and information week in Germany was very good, it helps having people in front of you who really know what they are talking about. 

I am a male, white boy. In Germany, something like racism or sexism just did not attach me. In the beginning it was strange for me looking different. Being different and even now, as I am used to the “thinking system” of Ghana, it feels strange. Do not get me wrong, i feel completely integrated and do not feel anything like racism in my daily life. But there are moments like when you are sitting in a taxi for example and the driver tells you a different, higher price just because of your skin color. 
But then again there are people who are so interested in you. Who ask you what you are doing, where you are from and how long you will stay. I love talking to most of the local people! But keep in mind that not everybody in Ghana is always just your friend.

If I should tell you three things that made my life in Ghana as good as it is, I would not know what to say. It is just a good feeling to be here. To know you have all the possibilities on the one hand but many responsibilities on the other hand. I just like my daily life. It just feels like home to me, even if it is not forever. I wake up in my mosquito-safe bed, go to the kitchen and get my Ghana-breakfast which my host mom made for me, I enjoy my quick bucket shower, dress and leave for school. At school I have the ability to help but I also do not feel like I am forced to anything. After schooldays I sit down in a taxi driving to town and text other volunteers or locals where to meet. After spending the afternoon with friends, I drive back home, eat dinner with my host parents, and prepare lessons for the next day. On weekends I am free to travel and explore the greatness of Ghana. Even if Ghana is not a very common place to travel to, I just love the landscape and the “hidden“ beauty of this country.





You read this because you are sure that you will are going to Ghana. You just want someone to tell you that it is the right thing to do.

Greetings, Magnus 


 




Ten volunteers in Ghana




On 28th of August Ghana said " Akwabaa" to ten volunteers from Germany, who will live in Ghana for one year to learn from the culture and the people and to talk about the German culture.




The first impression we had was the weather: hot and humid, but dark. I didn' t think that it is getting dark at 6.30 pm over here. The second impression: We all (all Obrunis) are famous in Ghana. Not really famous, but you always feel like on the red carpet. Smiling and waving, smiling and waving. But combined with that we noticed how friendly the Ghanaians are. We all spend the first week together in Agona Swedru. We staid at the host families as a pair, which was good. Don' t understand me wrong. They were all very kindly and lovely to us, it just gave us the possibility to share our food. We Germans are not used to big portions and in Ghana big portions are usual.




The orientation days prevented us from bigger mistakes like using the left hand (I still do it sometimes) or saying no to the hospitality. Added to our orientation lessons we were looking for the fundamental things we need in Ghana: Work permit, Non – citizenship card and of course a Simcard.




A huge thank you to IGI' s helping hands without you some of us would have been lost. The orientation ended in two wonderful trips: one to Akim Oda, the place where I stay and to Winneba. During the trips we got the possibility to see for what we came to Ghana: how things are working in Africa / Ghana. During all these days we also were confronted with the Ghanaian mentality, which is so different to ours. Everybody is chilled and relaxed the whole day. A character aim, which I am willing to learn.




Now we are all living in our host families on our own and getting used to the day in Ghana. The school another adventure and a big part of our life in the following year just started and we are all looking forward to teach this wonderful children.

Jana - Germany
 




















Youth Camp Asifaw




A trip to remember

On Thursday feb 19th a group of excited volunteers left from Swedru for a 4 hour long, bumpy trip to the village Asifaw.
IGI’s programme manager, Lawrence Arthur, had put together a well organized schedule for our days in Asifaw.

When we arrived in the villages we met the elders and chief, for a welcome to Asifaw. The kids were standing in the back, looking very excited and eager to meet the new comings to their village.
The guys started to set up their tent that they were gonna sleep in and the girls got settled in a room.
The programme was filled with presentations about environmental health, food, nutrition and lifestyles. Also a presentation about social protection from the director of social welfare. Some activities was also on the schedule. 

We did some communal labour where we helped to clean up in Asifaw, we were picking up garbage of the ground and collected everything in one place. The kids were happy to help us.


 I think is good that the kids see that we are doing something to, so that they don't just listen, its easier to teach kids then elder a new habit I believe.
For the elder we had medical screening, we were taking blood pressure, checking their heights and weight, also counting out their BMI. We were giving them tips on how to have a better blood pressure and BMI. 


It turned out to be very successful, the elder appreciated it very much.
We were also walking out in the forest to reach the umbrella rock. We were able to see 2 umbrella rocks. It was very nice, even some kids were keeping up with us for the hiking.
IGI had also arranged a soccer tournament, unfortunately our executive director for IGI, Williams Yirenkyi, was hurt in the game. But the tournament continued.
Before we were going home we were devided in to 2 groups, 1 group was asking questions to the elder and the other asked the same questions to the youths. We were asking questions about health, education, economy, the village and more. Everything to be able to put together a profile on Asifaw. Its interesting to hear their question and compare how they are living and how people in the bigger cities are living or even how we from Europe are living.


I had a great and interesting experience with IGI and the camp that they had arranged. It was very successful.
I had a great time with the kids also, they were teaching me some of their games and dances, i was teaching them some games to. I think they had a good time and so did I.



         IGI Building Communities' Assets
I'm looking forward to be working with IGI in the future and go on more trips and camps like this. I think its important to experience a lot of different things and see many different parts of a country.
This experience was new for most of us, but i think we all did a great job and we got along very good.
IGI is a good organisation and you can feel that the people working with IGI really cares for you.

Jenny - Sweden





" Where time stood still...or Not "

I ´m now back in Sweden and in my comfort zone. Outside are the buses and cars driven by, scheduled in time. It´s now a couple of days since I left Ghana and a couple of weeks sins my body physically left the little village Asifaw.
But under my eyelid I still have many beautiful memories from my meeting with a man and his organization Inspire Global Ideas . A man who is driven by his passion and desire to help humanity in every certain way.


A man and his volunteers who think Globally but work Locally. Inspire Global Ideas is all about visibility mechanisms and the structure that creates prejudices and discrimination in the community. IGI are trying to see differences to assets not problems or obstacles.
IGI global issues work is to ensure that individuals perceive themselves as responsible global citizens with the ability to promote human rights for human values, for the sustainable development of society and for a fair distribution of the earth's resources.Ever since my first meeting with Mr Williams I felt that I was member of the IGI family. Mr Williams gave me a second family, because he and IGI gave me a reason to be a part of something big and powerful.
Before my trip to the remote village Asifaw I did´t really know what to expect , despite all the good information which was given to me from Mr Lawrence and Mr Williams.
Nothing in life turns out like you think it should be but that doesn't mean it´s negative. My stay in Asifaw was great and it opened up so many new doors of thinking. And I could not in my wildest dreams imagine that the people in the village should have such a impact on me and the meaning to my Life.
Out in Asifaw I stood face to face to the real world and I was far from reaching my security zone but I developed my senses so much during the recent meeting with the village.
My patience and strength tested me every day in the village but the people and IGI team always gave me support and encouragement back to me and convinced me that my part of the project is important.
Before my trip to the village I had dreams and ambitions to play with the kids and get to know inhabitants and be very creative with them.I was hoping that they should feel trust, warmth and welcome me into their world.


I hoped that I was going to see smiles on children faces and I hoped that my trip to Asifaw and Umbrella Rock would give a new prospective to be able in the future to help and see the basic needs and the bottom line.
My time in Asifwa was overwhelmingly for me. The kids, the people, the environment and just everything, but they all for filled my dream. Despite their limited resources they gave me everything.
They cooked food, gave me water to bath in, gave me there trust and a place to sleep. They also gave thousands of smiles and a opened heart and so much new found knowledge.
During my time in Asifwa,there was one thing that particularly visible for me and that was how important it is to respect each other and how we communicate to each other in relationships and family's.
It does not matter if you are a man, a women or a child, if you are young or old, the most important is what you can do here and now to prevent a beneficial environment to live in.
I quickly realized that the best way to approach the inhabitants of the village were to be open,tender and give multiply help as in the best way I could.

Me and the rest of the IGI team helps citizens with their medical need, to measure the health status, inform them about right nutrition, clean water,healthy food and clean environment and Malaria Prophylaxes.
One morning we had a days work, were we walked around the village and picked garbage along with the children.I could tell that the children were really exited and proud to be helped and to bee needed.
We also had a deep and long conversation about women and men equal rights and opinion and their views on sexuality and marriage.It´s was really interesting and shocking at the same time. A great thanks to Mr Lawrence for his courageous effort do defend the women's right to one real love.
We also arranged a big football game to inspire more people to come and join us from other remote villages near by Asifaw. It was really nice to sit down and watch the football game and just being a friend to the people in the village.When I was sitting there I felt so much love and freedom and I could see the happiness in people eyes. .
Now I know the life of the inhabitants in the village, their needs, status and hidden problems.I now also know the culture and many friendly people.


I have learn not to take things s for granted and appreciate small things and also that the conditions are different depending on where in the world you live.
Of course I knew that life in a remote village was different but I could hardly imagine that people could survive without right nutrition, clean water and the right access to medical and help during birth. All this things are so natural for me to have in my life to me. 

In Asifaw I reached my bottom and my ultimate limit which has made me stronger. I think all people should have to experience some days in a remote village like Asifwa in his life because when you see it with your own eyes and carry the feeling with your own hands you can really understand the reality for these people and than you just can let it sink in to your body and mind. 



You may not think that you can help or are afraid you don´t know how you will react but I promise that the people in a village like Asifwa really needs all the help they can get and they are really gratefull.They need people to empower, inspire, motivate, and educate them for life.I can also promised you that it feels really good to help them in any way you can.
Now I am stronger than ever thanks to IGI and Mr Williams. My heart is full of memories of small and grown up peoples voices that I will always carry with me. Everyone of you , IGI, people in Asifwa and the volunteers has left an imprint in mind and it´s to always be grateful and believe in every individual and the faith to keep on fighting for the humans rights to make a better world.
I ´m  also thankful to Mr Williams and IGI organization and the people in the village that all of you opened your heart and invited me to be a part of this project. Thank you for letting me shared this short moment in time and let me picked a piece of the inhabitants life in Asifwa.
My life is now richer,happier,and more alive because my life has now reach a higher purpose because I have seen and shared the real world thanks to IGI. So thanks to the people in the village and Inspire Global Ideas  for filling the rest of my life.
Mr Williams I hope you one day will win the Nobel Prize in Humanity, and I will see you in Stockholm Sweden.

Maria - Sweden


  
An inspiring trip to Asifaw


IGI inspired me to follow them for an adventure far away.
I joined up with IGI to get more knowledge about different situations for the less fortune people in Ghana. Already before we took off for the remote village Asifaw I knew that IGI was a serious organization that did everything very properly. I have this picture from good information from Mr Williams and loads of information about all their projects. You know that the first feeling that strikes you when you see something for the first time often is the correct one. And  the one I got of IGI after half a day with Mr. Williams was overwhelming.

But back to the trip to the remote village Asifaw.  To get there was a ride to remember even if it wasn't the most comfortable one. Bumpy roads as always.
Arriving in the village I felt a good feeling from friendly people. Friendly people who didn't have much.  No electricity or clean water neither for the bucket shower or drinking.
We got a good welcoming by the chief and the eldest. The chief had a very strong but friendly personality that gave me good vibes.


For the day that passed I appreciate the way IGI let the children work together with us. We all clean certain areas as a group and later on we had a well performed information to all the village about how you could keep the environment clean.  How to preserve it in a good condition. 
When we on Saturday had a medical screening I saw the appreciating in every man and wife. They were so thankful for IGI and its volunteers and couldn't understand that people actual did this with no profit.
The things I wish we could include more for next camp is that also the grownups joined in on the cleaning day. Not only to see but more to feel that they are doing a difference. Dig in and feel it with their own hands and see the result of it.  I also wish that the social lady wish informed very well about social rights and protection had company with a manly coworker next time.  Yes, she was good and very informative but I do believe that with a man at her side had made it easier to reach the men in the village in another better/deeper way. My experience is that men often only listen to other men. Depending of culture and social skills of course. 

It popped up really well on the last day that the friendly village had a very old fashion view of seeing the rights they have as women and men. As human being. This wave of differences is something I wish  IGI discuss more with the chief, eldest, women, yes with the whole village the next time. For as the moment the village don't follow the laws that the social welfare did informed them of.
I know you can't do everything at once and I know that IGI is working for a change in the longer perspective and that changes do take time. 

Yet, it makes me glad that IGI Mr Lawrence stood up for women's rights when his groups profiling last day turned out to be a debate.  Through that and the whole way that IGI work I see that a change is possible.
No one is backing down for the culture crash and all the hard subjects that comes with it. This makes me think back on this weekend camp with a big smile. It's a long way left to go but
I'm stronger now and the next time I'm not only there to learn and help out. I will take the tough fights all the time because we all need to do so if the world is gonna be a better and safer place for us all to live in.
Changes are possible. IGI stands for many of them.
Thank you for having me.

Oska- Sweden

 

A peaceful village in the mountains

After a long ride with the very enthusiastic IGI team we arrived in Asifaw, a remoted village in the mountains in the Eastern Region. I was very excited because it was my first time of visiting Asifaw. My first impression was the warm welcome from the community. The Asifaw people were so nice to us and made us feel at home.

 It’s a very peaceful village and I felt at ease right away. Unfortunately I was only able to stay for one day due to my flight back to Belgium. But I enjoyed the short time I was there so much! The presentation I did about environmental health was a very nice experience for me, as graduate from environmental science studies. The people were interested and cooperated with my presentation, which made me feel appreciated.

Despite the everyday struggle, they survive in harmony and peace. For Europeans it’s very hard to imagine having their electricity and water problems. If we as Europeans have no electricity for one hour, we panic and we don’t know what to do. These people face that problem every day all day. But they manage to live with it and build up a peaceful community with hospitable people. This is why I think it’s a very nice community and IGI can build on it. On top of this all, they have a beautiful umbrella rock hidden in the woods. When I saw this, I was thinking that everyone should see this! When you stand on the rock, you have a beautiful view of the whole region and it’s impressive how these rocks can balance each other. 

 
I was amazed by the beauty and the force of nature. After visiting the umbrella rock I had to go to Accra to catch my plane. But this will not be my last visit to Asifaw. It’s a community with hidden opportunities and people we can build on.

Charllote - Belgium


 

 

Asifaw - a great adventure

I have been here for almost 5 months but normally I went to public and kind of famous places, if I travelled. But this time I decided to go with IGI to a very small village called Asifaw, near Koforidua.
When we were sitting in the trotro we did not care about having neither electricity nor fluent water. We were all looking forward for a nice weekend.


When we arrived we were welcomed warmly and I really felt expected. After eating we made a presentation about environmental health. The people seemed to be happy.
After a great night we stood up very early. Together with the children of the school we did a cleanup exercise. It was very funny and good to see how easy somebody can avoid this pollution. We arranged another presentation with a health screening for the people of the village. Later we organized some football matches. Everybody was so excited. After a successful and wonderful day we all went sleeping.
 The next day was the adventure day. We walked to the mystery rock and had an amazing time there. Later we had another football game.
The Sunday came and so it was time to say goodbye to Asifaw. It was a fantastic trip with lots of new experiences and impressions. I just can say thank you to IGI making this possible.
Lisa - Germany


I went there to Inspire but rather the people inspire us


With no expectations in mind I came to Asifaw, open-minded and open-hearted. But I never thought that this small community in the Eastern Region would welcome the IGI-volunteers so warmly. From the first day on we were not treated like visitors, but like community members. That made it so easy for us to integrate and become part of the daily life there – so in between our own program we had organized previously we were able to take part in the farming, cooking and sport activities. This is why Asifaw had become an unforgettable experience for me. 


Especially the Health Screening was big success for me as medical student, as we were able to screen about 90 people by measuring the blood pressure, the weight and the height and sensitize the people concerning the risks of both over- and underweight. But most of them, especially the old folks, are in good health, with a blood pressure most of the Europeans can only dream of.
This camp was only the beginning of a long lasting cooperation between Asifaw and IGI. This community is having a great potential to become a big attraction for tourists, with the nearby Umbrella Rock giving a fantastic view over the whole region, the palm wine sellers who can give a special insight into the traditional production of Ghanaian palm wine and local gin or the traditional farmers, who are trying hard to work for their living every day. 


These are only some reasons why Asifaw is an attractive place for visitors, but most special are the people there, who try their best to stick together despite all difficulties such as lack of proper supply of electricity, water and health facilities.
Of course IGI was founded to inspire – but the truth is, that Asifaw also inspired us. 

Judith 
Medical Student  (Germany)

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