LIA GVI Ghana: Week 1+2 - New Starts!

Hi all, I have now completed two weeks of my leadership-in-action and wanted to reflect on the project so far.
LIA GVI Ghana: Week 1+2 - New Starts!
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Firstly, it is important to introduce my leadership-in-action project. Whilst I initially began my internship with the title of Gender Equality for Girls, it has moved beyond that to largely focusing on both Gender Equality for Girls and the Justice, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion internships. Before I talk about how my internship has progressed, it is vital to reflect on the initial plan my LIA was taking. My project aimed to empower young women and girls to break generational cycles of poverty through teaching them about their rights and potential. In doing so, it hopes to break cultural and societal constraints limiting their opportunities. This project is important because whilst Ghana has seen rapid transformation and improvement in girls’ access to education in the last decades, with it being placed 7th for all Sub-Saharan Africa on gender parity in education in 2019, this score remained 61% showcasing the large amount of change that still needs to occur.

Upon arriving in Ghana, it was initially a very overwhelming experience. Not only was I landing in a completely new environment with few international tourists, but it was also night-time which seemed to escalate my anxieties. We quickly got through immigration and before I knew it, I was waking up the following day, ready to meet the GVI staff. That first proper day felt like I had lived a hundred different lives with the car journey to my base camp starting to introduce me to the way-of-life before arriving and undergoing lots of training – both regarding cultural considerations and how to remain safe. The rest of my training surrounded a community tour as well as learning about the projects undertaken at GVI Ghana, emphasising the flexibility in our project options. The community tour was incredibly eye-opening and reflected a more extreme level of deprivation and poverty than I expected. Alongside this, the first proper week I was here largely focused on teacher training, visiting the 6 partner schools, alongside shadowing other volunteers and interns to get a better idea on how the classes operate.

Since when I arrived there was only 3 other volunteers, we embarked on a 4 night trip to Cape Coast and Busua. Providing a nice break from the extensive training through the week, I found both the Cape Coast Slave Castle and Elmina Slave Castle particularly informative. Learning about this historical influence really provided the foundations for understanding the cultural context in Ghana. Alongside this, Busua was a really enjoyable trip, allowing me to get closer to the other participants.

Furthermore, upon arriving back to base, I got involved in numerous projects including book club, menstrual health and sexual reproductive health, allowing me to further consolidate my plans for the continuation of my internship. Learning about the different program options, forced me to decide the route I wanted my project to take. After reflecting, I decided I was best fit using my legal expertise to lead the Civic Engagement and Human Rights project, introducing the kids to how they can interact with governance and the legal system. Therefore, the rest of the week surrounded starting to consolidate lesson plans and preparing for the following week where I would start leading this project in numerous partner schools.

Moreover, I am really looking forward to the next month in Ghana, both learning more about the culture, creating positive impact on the community and improving my leadership skills.

 

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