04/05/2023 Travel Report 12, Ghana Trip
What an exciting last day. Today we want to spend with our friends Linus and Jacob from Grow Your Dreams Foundation and hike to a very remote village in the Volta region. But before that we had to do a lot of work and prepare a contract and a letter of recommendation. How lucky we are to travel with our own printer so we can easily make our stuff. We were picked up at 9:00 a.m. sharp - in an old Opel Kadett cab! If that's not a good omen! First we will go through the city to Adakulu-Waya. On a road / dirt road hardly passable with a normal vehicle, we fought our way to Waya Hospital. Years ago, we donated extensive equipment to this micro-hospital built by a Canadian organization. We are particularly interested in this trip to see how these materials have been treated or maintained over the years. We quickly discovered that almost all of our delivered furniture, chairs, cabinets, rolling containers, couches and mattresses are in use. Of the 4 beds delivered at that time, one is still in use, of the other beds we saw only the mattresses, the beds had disappeared. When we asked why and where, we were told - as we were told more often that day - that the "crew" that had been briefed at the time was no longer there and that an orderly handover had not taken place. Therefore, it was not known where the beds had gone. It was interesting to note that although the furniture is all in use, the operation was not understood, or as in the picture shown below. The cabinet was further used in the pharmacy - but only with one door. The second door had "fallen off". Thomas then explained to those present that you have to tighten the screws on the hinges every once in a while, and that once the hinges were put back in place, you could just hook the door back up. It is amazing that apparently the local carpenter, who was called in, was not able to repair the damage. After this short visit, we went on to Waya Senior High School. There were actually already Easter vacations. We were lucky that we still met Wonder, the IT teacher in charge of our PC Lab. He showed us "our" HITA-PC Lab. After the enthusiastic impression yesterday at Mawuko Senior Girls High School, it was a rather sobering sight. More than half of our donated computers were no longer there or no longer working. Maintenance work probably never took place. That this is a bigger problem at this school became clear to us as we surveyed other rooms in the school, as well as the outside of the school. From Waya, we drove to the small hospital that we have been supporting for almost 8 years. Fortunately, and to our great delight, the impression there was an extremely positive one. All our beds and other equipment were still in use. The mattresses of the 8 beds delivered were all covered with a specially made durable but washable cover. Not only did it look great, but it allows the staff to thoroughly clean the mattresses after each patient. In the case of the small computer network installed to document the medical records, we were again given the same reason for non-functioning as many times before: the staff changed and the newly hired staff were left alone with their tasks without proper handover. The computers of the network are all there, they also work, but they are no longer used for their intended purpose.
But the real highlight today was the visit to Adalu-Kordiabe, a really remote little village with about 150 inhabitants. From the main village, this means a daily walk of about 30 minutes through the Ghanaian bush for all residents. There are about 300 meters of altitude to overcome. A road connection to the village once existed, but "issues" lead to the fact that the road is not maintained and has been impassable ever since. Everything has to be brought by hand or better by foot to the village on the mountain or from there to the valley. The actual reception was indescribable. By loudspeaker the villagers were invited to the "village lime tree", in our case a huge mango tree. As we heard, the residents already gathered once that day for us in the morning. Now for the second time because we came so late. Quickly the village elders and the Togbe Dzata IV, the "War Lord" and Togbe Adzie IV, the real king of the village were brought in. Thomas, who was crowned "War Lord" (today Development Chief) in 2018, was also supposed to take a seat with the kings and village elders, but gladly turned down this offer because he was on a different mission and also did not have the traditional robe with him. At the reception in the Assembly Hall of the village, where only the Chiefs, their spokesman, the Queen Mom were present, we sealed our friendship with the village over a glass of the finest Scotch whiskey, which Daniel had specially brought all the way here. Interesting in this ritual, now well known to us, is the fact that never forget to thank "Mother Earth" with a few drops on the ground.
How we were received after traditional ritual with dances and drums, you can see and hear shortly on our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1zWW3JrtH5z93YMK3CybSw! Most exciting for us was the work of our colleagues at the Grow Your Dream Foundation. The Womens' Club, led by Cecilia Agblodo and Ablorde Cate, performed a role-playing game to make us understand and feel the oppression of women by their husbands. This role play and the feelings it triggered made us all very concerned. We have been enthusiastic about the work of the colleagues of our partner organization here in Ho in the Volta region, the Grow Your Dream Foundation under the leadership of Jacob Sedemor, the director of the organization and Linus Gaba, his deputy, for some time now GROW YOUR DREAM FOUNDATION 2022 CHRISTMAS PARTY | HITA e.V. (hita-ev.org) . Karsten Gareis, one of our colleagues on the board of directors, is a key supporter of a project called "Gender Equality" Community engagement on gender equality | HITA e.V. (hita-ev.org), which he played a leading role in. In the board we therefore decided that in the future we want to work even closer with this organization Coop GYDF | HITA e.V. (hita-ev.org). We therefore use the evening together to outline another project. We worked on a short proposal for a pilot project proportionally financed by HITA e.V.. Before we leave tomorrow morning, we want to conclude this cooperation by means of a framework agreement, which we also had to work out. More about this in tomorrow's travel report No. 13!