Saturday, May 13, 2006

About Me and MoFA

First off, let me start with a little background information into the relationship between EWB and MoFA: Last summer, Alyssa and Navid (two Junior Fellows) did preliminary research into the workings of MoFA, and then Robin (a current long-term OV) extended the collaboration by developing the "Capacity Exchange Project". Based on a trial project done in Yendi, EWB decided to expand the project to other interested Northern districts. So, this summer there are 12 volunteers who will be working in the Northern Region of Ghana with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

Ok, so what exactly does "Capacity Exchange Project" mean? Well, it's an exchange of knowledge! I'll be learning about Ghanaian culture, rural life, agriculture and the challenges faced in the rural communities of my district. In exchange, I'll be contributing in 3 ways:

1. Working with the Agricultural Extension Agents (AEA's) to increase effectiveness in their demonstrations to the farmers. As well, working with them to implement the principles of RBM (Results based Management) in how they plan and monitor their activities.
2. There are a number of stakeholders in Food Security in each district, such as NGO's and GO's. I will be helping establish or revitalize a sustainable District Food Security Network (DFSN), by surveying the stakeholders and facilitating initial meetings.
3.Working with the District Office staff on using the tools they have, and providing my input on how to use various Microsoft Office programs, report writing, constructing surveys and proposals, etc.

Those are the three main aspects of the work I'll be doing this summer - but it's not enough to simply teach what I know and leave; I'll be using a participatory approach to ensure that the skills taught and methods learned will be used after my placement is over.

But then again, I'm getting way ahead of myself! The first thing I need to do is learn. So, the village I'm situated in is called Tolon. It is located about 40 minutes West of Tamale (that's 40 minutes by tro-tro). Tolon is one of the main villages of the Tolon/Kumbungu District. There I will be staying with a family - the head of the household is Mr. Afasuma; he is a retired AEA from the district. He lives with his 3 wives and very many children and grandchildren! It's going to be very interesting trying to fit in with so different a family dynamic to my own - having only one sister. But from what I've heard, Ghanaians are the friendliest people you will ever meet!


At 11:27 PM, Anonymous lisa said...

you might only have one sister but she's very proud of you!! I miss you Deb!! love lisa

At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Marlene said...

Hi Deb
Wonderful to hear your news and to track your progress. I am dead jealous of you - what an amazing experience. Marlene (Behrmann/Cohen)


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