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Postcard from Ghana

ghana

Contact: Emily Williams

Posted Nov. 15, 2010

By Danie Cadet, MSW Student
The highlight of the trip for me was visiting the fishmonger's project. I was truly inspired by the founder, Victoria Churchill-Koomson. In spite of the many challenges facing organizations similar to her's, Mrs. Churchill-Koomson, through Central Region of the Fishmongers Improvement Agency (CWRFIA), has made considerable progress toward helping the women in the fishing industry with better equipment, childcare, education and increased health education and awareness in the community. Her belief in her organization is such that she has invested her personal retirement pension in the project. She, to me, is truly a hero in our midst.

I learned that I truly have no excuse. I need to be creative and work within the resources that I have. One of my goals in participating in the trip was to learn how to provide services in light of the recent cuts experienced by countless agencies. The agencies I visited have a lot less than I do here in the States. Although they are aware of what they lack, they do not allow this to hamper what they are able to do. They wait on no one, not the government, or famous personalities, in order to instill the change they aspire to construct. They simply do the best with what they have.

There is so much to be learned in developing countries. They have the ability to deliver services in spite of their overwhelming challenges. Funding, space, staff personnel, governmental support, technical support, are just a few of the challenges confronting agencies throughout the country. Nevertheless, countless agencies, universities, and NGOs are finding ways to accomplish just that. That is truly commendable.

Visiting Ghana or any developing country is an experience that should be afforded to all social work students. Having spent 21 days in Ghana, I've learned to be more efficient with my time. It has also taught me that I can do with a lot less and still fight and negotiate change for the poor and underprivileged. Most of all, the trip has sensitized me to the needs of the poor and needy in a manner that I couldn't have benefited in the States.

I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to have been a participant. The trip was excellently planned. Decisions around places and cites we visited, and where we stayed, were made with the students' overall needs in mind. I have grown professionally and emotionally as a result. Thanks to the professors involved, this was a wonderful experience.








 


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