Things are about to get a little nostalgic (okay.. a lot nostalgic) - you’ve been warned!
So, here we are. I leave Ghana in just 3 short weeks. Saying that it feels bittersweet might be a cliche... but it is a very true cliche! I said in my very first post talking about moving to Ghana that I wanted to make sure the impact of my work and time here was a positive one. I’ve reflected on my work in a few previous posts, but I wanted to write one final review of these 10 months - reflecting not just on my work, but on my time here overall.
As you may already know, I spent the first 5 months of my time in Ghana working on a project in the Volta Region. I spoke about the ups and downs of that project here, and mentioned that I would be working in Accra for the remaining 5 months.
For the last 5 months I worked on a project which laid the groundwork for Crossroads’ expansion in Ghana. I connected with 6 new potential partners, and met with all 4 existing partner organizations. I reviewed the work we are doing with each of the existing partners, and explored what we might be able to do with the 6 proposed organizations. I took a critical look at our programming and made recommendations to Crossroads about what I think are the best next steps for their work in Ghana. It’s been a rewarding project, and I’m really happy with the work I’ve been able to do and the recommendations I’ve made. I am excited to keep an eye on the partnerships and projects here in Ghana as Crossroads expands their work based on my reviews and recommendations.
Outside of my work I’ve continued to connect with the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), Young Feminist Gathering (YFG), and the Humanist Association of Ghana (HAG). With each group I’ve been able to connect with great people and attend meaningful (and fun!) events.
Through my involvement in the Humanist Association of Ghana (HAG) I was given the opportunity to speak at the International Day Against Homophobia in Accra. It was an amazing day, and an honour for me to speak to that community here. HAG also sent an open letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Prof. Mike Oquaye after he made some deeply homophobic remarks. Together we defended our open letter online, even after we received hundreds of negative and hateful responses. I’m so grateful to have been a part of the HAG community these past 10 months. I met some seriously amazing people through HAG and I’m going to miss our meetings and social events so much!
In my last 5 months, I also continued to attend meetings for the Young Feminist Gathering - which allowed me to connect with awesome women in Accra each month. Recently, the women of YFG worked with Sionne Neely, to organize the Mami Wata Procession during the Chale Wote Street Art Festival. We used the procession/march to reclaim public space for women. As Sionne said, the march was held to show that “we claim the right to express ourselves fully in public without harassment or intimidation.” It was a really special day and a great end to my time with the women of YFG. You can see some photos of the march here.
Beyond my involvement with community groups, I also made an effort to improve and increase the reach of my writing during my time in Ghana. I didn’t have great success with this during the first half of my time here, but in the last few months I was able to make some great strides forward. I have now been published on the Canadian Women’s Foundation Blog, the Toronto Feminist Collective Blog, and the Feminist Art Conference blog. I am also set to have my second piece for the Canadian Women's Foundation Blog posted online in September! I’m so pleased I’ve been able to share my writing with a wider audience and challenge myself to write with more purpose.
And on top of all that - I just had a lot of fun here! I made so many great friends and enjoy my time connecting with new people. I was able to travel to many different cities in the country, seeing many different cultures and landscapes. I saw tons of live music and got to enjoy dancing on many weekends. I tried lots of different foods, and found some new favourites (how will I live without groundnut soup and rice balls?!). I got the chance to visit Ghana’s eastern neighbour, Togo, which was so cool (and very French!). I was able to enjoy many different beaches, events, festivals, and the list goes on... I really had so many great experiences here!
Overall I am so grateful for my time in Ghana. I learned so much in my work, but also in the organizations I was a part of, and from the friends I made. I am definitely looking forward to getting home to friends and family, but I am so glad for all the amazing experiences I’ve had in the past 10 months.
Can’t wait to come back and visit soon!! I dey go come! ;)