Friday, January 30, 2015

Yumba: Plans Made, Progress Paved

Written by Akilu & Jake
It has been two exciting weeks of hard work on the Yumba project by the second cohort in series since the inception of the International Citizen Service programme in Ghana. Kudos to the country director, programme manager and all stakeholders involved for this novel initiative. A review of the success managed thus far by the previous cohorts are more than a justification for the need for such a project; however there is much more to be done!

Trickling down to experience working with the team; it is simply a dream come true. The calibre of volunteers selected by International Service validates the stringent selection process. We all are very enthusiastic and passionate about rejuvenating the Yumba Special School. Such qualities are ubiquitous among all volunteers working on the other projects under the International Citizen Service programme; ICVs and UKVs alike. A conclusion drawn after an intensive week long interaction with all the volunteers and team leaders during the induction period.

It is gratifying working with others who align to a common goal of helping the marginalised and intellectually disabled to not only manifest their presence but also to support them to be relatively independent in the future. Even more satisfying is the fact that all volunteers on the Yumba project seem to be cherry-picked with each volunteer having varied but rich talents and complementary attitudes which are obviously recipes for achieving targets.

(Left to Right) Seckina, Jake, Joseph, Georgie

Here are some thoughts from the Yumba volunteers:

"No one chooses to be disabled, yet in our disability there is still hope"


"It's both exciting and daunting to think about the potential difference we can make to the lives of these disabled children. Hopefully our work will enrich their lives as well as our own."


"When you hear the word 'disabled' people immediately think about individuals who can't walk or talk or do everything that people take for granted; we take nothing for granted. But we find the real disability is with those who can't find joy in life and are bitter.This is the time and we are the YUMBA TEAM."


"It's been the most enjoyable week ever. I am grateful to have met these lovely creatures of God. They are so inspiring and they really need our support."


"The intellectually disabled are not an alien species; they originate from within us. Let's show them some love; let's let them belong."


"I am already enjoying this experience on the Yumba Project in Tamale a huge amount, and I am confident that our incredible team will achieve great things due to our enthusiasm and hard work."


"The team have generated excellent ideas and shown great initiative. We have already started making progress; this team will go far! xx"

The quotes were supposed to be limited to 140 characters but Georgie and Joseph decided to ignore that suggestion. #YOLO
The previous week was used by our able team leaders to get us acquainted with the previous engagements of volunteers on the project and also to assign tasks to each volunteer for the purposes of efficiency and effectiveness. Volunteers thereafter planned their activities to be executed this week and beyond; operations are set to be initiated and ideas are coming into fruition.

Additionally, during the week we met Mr. Samed from the Resource Centre for People with Disabilities to discuss the issues we will face as representatives of the Yumba school and disabled children in general. We also spoke with Madame Comfort, the Yumba parents representative, to speak about parent/teacher interactions and how they could be strengthened. On the same day Momma Medina & Madame Christina came to our offices to discuss budgeting and finance at the school to see what areas of expenditure can be addressed. Finally Joseph went to Laurenda school to accept a generous donation of school books and literature!

Many thanks to the Laurenda school!
There is lots to do; We are poised for action!

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