Every summer students from Hong Kong University are invited for a 2 month internship with Light for Children. They head the sexual assault prevention program for the summer. Here is a report by one of the interns on their first week in Ghana.
Working report of first week of internship (June 4, 2012 – June 6, 2012) - by Keyboard Tam
Arrival and settle down (4/6 - 5/6)
After a whole day of flight travel, ten of us students from the University of Hong Kong arrived safely at the airport in Accra, capital of Ghana. We were then led to a hostel and stayed overnight for rest. On Tuesday 5/6, Project coordinator of Light For Children Ghana, Mike sent a van to take us from Accra to Kumasi, the second big city. We met the host family and got to know each other at night.
Orientation and rehearsals (6/6 - 8/6)
On Wednesday, we were introduced about our work in coming two months at the office of Light for Children. The main mission is to deliver a workshop for Ghanaian students on prevention of sexual assault. A script of presentation was given to us for reference and easier preparation work. The flow of workshop was explained in details. We start off with an opening song to tell students their right to control own bodies. The main body consists of four parts, namely definition of personal safety, example of personal safety skills, types of sexual assault and what should be done in case of sexual abuse.
Ten of us were divided into three groups with local university students Rhoda and Adoo joining. After that each group started to present verbally and received comments and suggestions from officials and other groups. The first two times of practice improved our fluency of speech and demonstration. We added our own words to explain the ideas and concept. Real cases were included to enrich our presentation. In the third trial, props were introduced and used to facilitate our role-play. Big slides were held so that students can see our words. A fake hand was used in simulation of role-play of sexual assault. It clearly demonstrated where and how the private parts were touched in a sexual manner but avoided real contact.
Thursday was our second day of rehearsal. We worked hard to engage our audience with questions and interesting role-plays. Our presentation adopts an interactive approach so that we know what students think and we give response to them. Students are encouraged to answer our questions by toffee sweets. Sometimes we would ask the whole class to clap for one when he or she does a brilliant work. Amendments on role-plays were made to stay close with real situations so that students resonated with the cases. For instance in one of the role-plays, a man sexually assaults two schoolgirls after doing them favor. As abusers would prefer to avoid bystanders and witnesses, the script was changed that one of the schoolgirls was sent to buy sweets so another was left alone with the abuser. We made our final refinements on Friday. Rehearsals in morning and afternoon enable us to perform perfectly in real trial on Monday.
Experiencing Ghanaian wedding and funeral (9/6)
The girls went to the 3rd social day of Anwomaso District on Saturday morning. The social day was a package of graduation, fund raising and mass wedding event.
The wedding part was the highlight of the ceremony. All girls got excited about it. Couples dressed in clothes with same patterns and gave their oaths. The pastor offered blessing to all married couples and prayed for all.
In the afternoon, all of us went to a funeral. In an open square hundreds of mourners sat under tents listening to preach and prayers given by priest. We shake hands with the close relatives wearing in red and friends in black clothing. We have experience both happy moments and sad occasion in a single day. The events were valuable chances for experiencing Ghana culture and traditional customs.
Visit to local university (10/6)
Six of us visited a famous local university in Kumasi on Sunday. Adoo led us to walk around in the campus of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The facilities were introduced and we made comparisons with the University of Hong Kong. The campus is much bigger than our college but the residential halls are more crowded than ours. We really appreciate the green environment as all buildings are surrounded by trees. Bird nests could be seen on many trees with kingfisher flying around. Outside the main hall, we learned about how the university was set up by the first president of Ghana in 1952 around the time of independence. It was the second university in Ghana which admits over 20,000 undergraduates last year. Adoo explained the development of science and technology in Ghana with the effect of KNUST. We then discussed about the political regime and social situation in Ghana and also the exchanged ideas on politics. We would visit it again when time allowed in coming weeks since we have seen near half of the place only.