We want to be more than just another placement organisation, and we require that all of our in-country staff regularly volunteers with placement Organisations. The picture on the left shows Katherine Theus, our previous Ghana Volunteer Coordinator, helping out with a beach cleanup organised by HEPENS, one of our placement organisations in Ghana. By helping out in these activities, we get to know our partner organisations and their needs better, and strengthen our relationships with them.
Other examples of Volunteering with placement organisations include assisting in teaching afternoon classes in partner schools in Ghana, developing informational brochures for partner organisations in Sierra Leone and holding workshops on civic education for youth with our partners in Liberia.
Another initiative we have started are our Community-based programmes. These are joint projects between ACIPP West Africa and the communities our Intern houses are based in. These programmes will be present in all our countries of Operation. The programmes take place regularly, on a weekly or monthly basis according to the type of initiative, and involve all our staff members and our interns. An example from Sierra Leone is that we organised a community clean-up, to collect all the trash lying around in the streets, presenting a major public health hazard. As you can see in the picture on the right, it was a success and everyone helepd out!
ACIPP Sierra Leone’s long-time Community based programme was a weekly after-school programme on thursday evenings. We invited the community kids to our house in Goderich to assist them with their homework and to work with them to prepare for their final school exams. We divided them into groups according to their age and subjects they wanted assistance with, and then about 3-4 kids worked with one intern or staff member on their questions. The programme was extremely well received, with about twenty kids participating every week, and several parents expressing their gratitude for the initiative. Over the summer, this programme will be put on hold due to the holidays, and be replaced with a health outreach programme, a summer school on prevention of common diseases.
The above pictures show the public health summer outreach programme kicking off with a reunion of the community, where they listened to talks about the prevention of Malaria, Cholera and typhoid fever in Krio, the local kreole english. To help them in their efforts to prevent these diseases, ACIPP donated a small prevention kit to each family. These kits consisted of a bucket with a lid to make sure the water stays clean – this helps prevent Cholera and typhoid fever. They also got soap, in a rather symbolic gesture to remind them of the importance of using soap to wash their hands regularly. Finally, each family got a mosquito net to protect their children from mosquito bites at night.