- What were your expectations when coming to Ghana?
Answer: Prior to my trip to Ghana [Tamale], my thoughts about the place were full of village scenes, but on the contrary a lot of structures are made of concrete and super-markets are not hard to find. Host family lives in surrounding characterized by buildings made of mud and thatch that are common to most villages. Being a non –believer in religious faith; I was left wondering as to the number of questions that people will bother me with ,as people here are noticed with believes in various religious faiths. The notion that I had earlier has not been so, as I have not experience much of people questioning my stance on religious believes.
- Why did you decide to come to Ghana?
I have had the opportunity to volunteer in South Africa before and additionally, the libraries in Netherlands provide rich information about South Africa, Egypt and Morocco, but little information about Ghana exists. Following this, I was curious to find out about Ghana- meet the people, experience the cultures and most of all to work with children in need by use of creative therapy. What could I contribute here?
- Which project are you working in?
I have worked with the orphanage [Tamale Children’s Home] for one month and I am currently working with the Youth Idleness Control Centre [YIC] to span for another four months. The work is specifically with the ‘High Standard Girls’ where I offer help to girls who encounter problems [trauma] with their families or themselves resulting from death of parents or other forms of denial and sufferings . By this, I give therapy, counseling, and trainings to stimulate social and emotional development.
- How do you find the work?
- How is it to live with a host family?
Living with the host family presents the opportunity to experience new ways of doing things. Learning another’s culture by living in the middle of it. Daily Life with the host family is routinely similar, unlike the variety of engagements in the Netherlands – I have missed my regular tea
- What have you learnt during your time in Tamale?
I have learn to live a more relax life and do things at my own pace as compare to the speed and somewhat perfectionist life I have in Netherlands. Also, inadequate logistical supply at work places has led to more realization of self initiation and creativity within me, as I have to improvise to meet the demands of the tasks performed. I use the things that I leant in the Netherlands, but I have to adjust things so that they will hopefully work for the target group.
- What has been your nicest experience in Ghana?
I enjoy all the little things that grab my attention, like the “red” colour of the sand and the multi- colour combination of fabrics in the market. Additionally, I enjoy seeing children playing; “drive” motor cycle tires down the road.
- What do you do with your free time in Tamale?
I enjoy my free time riding on my bicycle to downtown to observe things in the market, speak with children, and meet other volunteer friends, reading and writing /preparing for the next schedule of work. One of my free times was spent in the Mole-Game to watch wildlife and I have reserved travelling to my last days in Ghana.