Written by CorpsAfrica/Ghana Volunteer Ms. Rita Ofori
I had the opportunity to meet with one of the 22 family heads in my community on 8th January 2023. Nana (the family head I met) was receptive with a kind and friendly demeanor.
We met at his home, which was located in Esaman. Nana greeted me warmly and offered me a seat in his home as customs demanded.
During our conversation, he spoke about the beliefs of his people and the importance of my presence in the community. He also discussed the challenges that the community faced. However, he emphasized that the community was strong and resilient and that they were working to improve their situation through various initiatives and programs.
I was struck by Nana’s wisdom and leadership, and I was impressed by the strong sense of community and tradition that I saw in the people. It was truly an enlightening experience to meet with one of the family heads in this community.
On 11th January 2023, I had the honor of meeting the community elders and some members of the community. My community is a cocoa-growing rural community with a population of 4,287 in the Komenda District (KEEA Municipality) of the Central Region of Ghana. Four sub- communities namely, Esaman, Afoase, Mantemankabi, and Ab)tomarimma make up my community.
I was able to introduce them to CorpsAfrica and the work that we do as Volunteers to support local communities and promote sustainable development using the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) and Human-Centered Design (HCD) approaches.
I was struck by the wisdom and experience of these community leaders and members, and it was clear that they truly cared about the well-being of their community. They were particularly interested in learning about our efforts to promote sustainable development in their community.
I also included a caption highlighting the importance of working with community leaders and members to make a positive impact in the community.
I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with these community leaders and members, and I look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.
Community Activity 1
Participating in the cleaning of a refurbished toilet in my community (Komenda District) on 18th January 2023, (the only toilet serving all 4 sub-communities in my town) was truly an experience. Not only did it allow me to give back to my community, but it also allowed me to see firsthand the impact that small acts of kindness could have on people’s lives. The refurbished toilet project is a community initiative that aims to improve hygiene and sanitation conditions.
On the day of the cleaning, a group of community members, including myself, gathered at the designated location to begin the cleaning process. The first step was to clear out any debris or trash that had accumulated in and around the toilet. We then used soap and water to scrub the walls, floors, and fixtures of the toilet. It was hard work, but it felt good to know that we were making a difference in the community.
After the cleaning was completed, we were able to see the dramatic improvement in the appearance and cleanliness of the refurbished toilet. Not only was it somewhat aesthetically pleasing, but it was also much safer and healthier for the community members who used it.
The experience of participating in the cleaning of the refurbished toilet in my community was an eye-opener. It reminded me of the importance of community service and the impact that small acts of kindness could have on people’s lives. It also made me appreciate the value of cleanliness and sanitation in maintaining a healthy community.
In all, I would encourage others to participate in similar community service projects. Not only is it a great way to give back to your community, but it is also a valuable learning experience that can help you grow as a person. It’s also important to note that community service is not only restricted to physical cleaning but it is also important to educate the community on proper sanitation and hygiene practices and to make sure that the community members are aware of their role in maintaining the cleanliness and sanitation of the toilets and the community as a whole.
Community Activity 2
On the 27th of January 2023, I joined the community to witness one of their customs. This custom is done for a deceased family head (abusuapanyin) who has lived a life worth emulating.
The ceremony began late in the afternoon and was led by a local spiritual leader, who began by pouring libations and offering a coin and red cloth to the gods. This is done to appease the ancestors and also for the spirits to lead a cow to be sacrificed through the town peacefully for the “amamere” (tradition) to be done successfully.
The atmosphere was solemn, yet celebratory, amidst drumming and dancing. The cow was led through the principal streets of the town and finally to the family house to be slaughtered and shared among family members. It was a powerful and moving experience – witnessing this celebration of life and seeing how the community came together to honor and remember their loved ones. It was a reminder that death is not the end, but rather a continuation of life and a celebration of the memories and legacy left behind.