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Friday, February 6, 2015

Recollection & Reflection On Team Advancement & Connection

This week the team reflected on how their experience during the IS programme had benefited or otherwise made an impact on themselves. This is what they wrote:
Written by Jake "my shirt matches my teeth" Davies & Seckina Kassim
The end of the third week is approaching; Harmattan is sweeping through Tamale and a general haze of uncertainty occupies the air. We've done some great things so far and progress has been achieved on all fronts. The construction of the ICT room at Yumba has begun, financial records have been promised and bridges have been built between teachers, volunteers and other generous organisations or individuals. Dates have been set for our cohort to elucidate the plight of Yumba school through the Tamale-based radio station Zaa; we will be joined by Mr. Paul and Mama Medina as representatives of Yumba's benevolent efforts.

But will our plans come to fruition? Will the piercing light of success focus its way through the interminable struggles we face or is the ubiquitous barrier of discrimination too much to wade through? While optimistic we are still unsure of what is to come; it seemed appropriate at this time to reflect on what we had learned so far and how our experiences had moulded both ourselves and each other.

The cultural exchange has so far been pervasive and ongoing; both the people of Ghana and the United Kingdom have been absorbing information about the ways of life prevalent in either country. 4000 miles separates the two lands and yet the miracle of interaction is in both the areas of dispute as well as the consensus. It is fascinating to discover the extent to which we share a common bond and when our opinions become disparate despite all of us being human.

So what were some of the concepts that our minds fixated on the most? What truly struck us as a profound similarity or difference? Here is what we thought:

Portia

"Nothing is more fulfilling for me than seeing the teachers do their best to make these kids useful in our society. I can testify it's not easy but certainly worth it."

Joseph

"You need to experience to create greatness and every little experience so far is making me realise a lot of things about myself that I never knew or  imagined I would. I am glad to be realising  a lot  right now with this experience. Having to be part of an amazing group of people (THE YUMBA TEAM) with one aim (to create a change) just broadens you in so many different aspects in life. It's a so far so good feeling at the moment."

Akilu

"The intent for hand washing our clothes is chiefly to get rid of the dirt on them. But latently, we get our hand very clean as well before we finish. That is a quintessence of my experience on the Yumba project. Whiles I strive to make a difference in the lives of the intellectually disabled children, I also see myself gradually metamorphose from the largely reserved person I have always been to one of a talkative, inching ever closer to the public speaker have always aspired to be and that is an imposing feat for me."

Jake

"The most notable difference for me is the intimacy; actions and emotions that may only be reserved for those we are close to in the UK are freely shared among everyone in Ghana."

Frankie

"Always work with a glass half full attitude. Accentuate what is possible rather than what isn't. Negativity is disabling."

Georgie

"The attitude I have found here is the friendliest, most welcoming approach to life I've ever experienced; although I don’t lack a positive perspective I’m hoping the Ghanaian temperament will influence me even more, as I’m thoroughly enjoying it's ubiquitous nature."

Seckina

"It's been a brisk week on my side; success as we see it consists of failure after failure without loss of enthusiasm. Through this project, I've learnt so much on ICT and how to accommodate the behaviour of others which I am honoured to have discovered. I would like to say we should always keep our heads up to the sunshine and we will always go up to the limit."

(Left to Right): Joseph, Frankie, Akilu, Georgie, Seckina, Portia
I think next week is going to be a perky week in which so many achievements will be made. On Tuesday Dr Sori, with his team, will visit the Yumba Special School to enroll the children on a diagnosis program in regards to their intellectual disabilities; Dr Sori has been generous enough to provide this for free. All the Yumba team will be there to witness and also help Dr Sori's team with any difficulties they find themselves in. With this, the children can be designated to different classrooms and given appropriate treatment given their condition.

On Wednesday the Yumba team will again visit the school and there the teachers will be trained in ICT skills using the newly fashioned ICT room at the school. Success is how you make it and that is how we choose to proceed.

I believe we all left this week feeling satisfied with both our personal efforts and the holistic progress achieved. But as for a final summation of things to come? I think Bruce Lee said it best:

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them."

And so we shall.

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