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Monitoring Updates From Eda

Despa!! I’m currently sitting in the Saha office on a rainy Monday morning. Most days we’d be out monitoring right now, but the downpour is keeping us inside. We gave it our best shot, heading out at 6:30am only to make it to the other side of Tamale before we were soaked through. It doesn’t help much to put a rain jacket on after the rains begin, and motos don’t offer any rain protection, so back to the office Wahab and I drove! Tomorrow we will try again!

 

The few weeks since the Global Leadership Program ended have been an adventure. Thus far, I’ve gone monitoring with Eric, Shak, and am now starting to monitor with Wahab. Katie and I are spending a week with each full time staff to really understand how things run around here.

Eric monitors Vogyili, the community I implemented a water business in as a field rep. It was fun to monitor and see how well they were doing, especially considering they now have a solar business too. Eric also monitors five of the nine new water businesses from this summer’s GLP. All five (Kanjeyili, Baayili, Dawunyili, Mahamuyili, and Kpingiyili) are doing well!

Moto

 

A few surprises occurred when Shak and I visited Yakura. The first of which was the small lake that greeted us on the road into the village. We weren’t sure we could make it through on the moto, but a man passing by on a bicycle assured us it wasn’t that deep. However, he was taking a back route that wasn’t moto friendly to avoid the puddle, so we were on our own. I decided to let Shak ride alone, and I would walk though the puddle rather than risk a swim were the moto to tip. Thankfully, the man was right and we made it through without (many) problems, but I am glad I walked!

Puddle

 

In Yakura I also saw Mary, one of the women entrepreneurs from my time in Vogyili. We were walking into our first household to monitor and there she was!

I knew that she had moved to another community, but I was so surprised and excited to see her! She’s now helping run the water and solar businesses in Yakura. Mary was equally as surprised to see me, and asked how Victoria, Jacob, and Hailey were (my 2013 GLP teammates).  It was a touching reminder of the lasting impact field reps and Saha truly have on each community and its entrepreneurs.

Kitchen

 

And now, an update on living in Tamale and a shameless plug for our food blog! Katie and I have started an Instagram account – tamaleeats – to document our adventures cooking and eating here in Tamale (even though we have zero experience with food photography). It’s a whole new world learning what goods we can actually cook from the market, and trying to operate our oven. It’s a great day if it only takes one match to light the stove!

 

Nevertheless, I think we’ve done a splendid job so far: we haven’t eaten plain rice for any meal and we discovered donuts in the market can be a good (albeit not nutritious) lunch substitute when it’s too hot to turn on the stove. Head over to tamaleeats to see homemade falafel, mujadara, chili, and more!

Donuts Falafel

#Sahayili16 Reflections on the 2016 Summer Global Leadership Program

It’s been just over a week since we said farewell to the 2016 Summer Field Reps. Thanks to this group of amazing individuals, Saha partnered with 15 communities in Northern Ghana to open 9 new water treatment businesses and 6 new solar charging businesses, which provide jobs to 27 new entrepreneurs. 3,288 people now have permanent access to safe drinking water and 2,232 people have access to reliable, clean solar electricity. Additionally, 16 of our water entrepreneurs have now been trained to run solar businesses, increasing their earning potential!

Abby, Adeel, Alexis, Aliyah, Angela, Anita, Anna, Annalise, Arielle, Ashley, Audrey, Ayodele, Bethany, Bill, Chelsea, Christina, Davis, Diana, Erin, Eugenia, Greg, Jack, Jen, Jhoanny, John F, John H, Jose, Julia C, Julia R, Kanaha, Kate, Kathryn, Kelsea, Kevonté, Kristen, Laura, Lauren, Lexie, Lorry, Lucy, Mcrid, Micah, Molly, Morgan, Olivia, Rachael, Ryan, Sam, Savannah, Shuoyang, Swapnil, Taylor, Tim, Vivian, Wivine, Yanshu and Yi,

We can’t believe that it’s been 10 days since we packed our bags and loaded up together for the last time – surprisingly on time and without technical difficulties, a real Tamale miracle! We are so grateful for the energies, talents and passions that you brought to Saha, which were essential to the opening of these new water and solar businesses. It is no exaggeration to say that because of you, thousands of people are living their lives with more opportunities for health and happiness. It was a pleasure to work with each and every one of you, and we are so lucky to continue to have you as members of the Saha Team! As head off to your next impactful endeavors, remember your community and Saha, and let us know what we can do to further your missions. 

To quote Kpanshegu’s chief, as he related to Team Amin during their Chief Meeting, “There is currently a shift in the consciousness of the African culture to realize that they [the villagers] deserve it [clean water, electricity, education,etc.]. True knowledge is not knowing English or how to read or write, but rather it is the recognition of who you are and what you need to do; and if you explain that this [business] is theirs and that they need to work with you for it, that they will appreciate it and make it their own. And those who have knowledge and do not share it with others will be cursed by god whether they know it or not. It is your job with knowledge to pass it on to others and facilitate that change.” 

With gratitude,

Amin, Brianán, Eda, Eric, Kathryn, Katie, Peter, Shak & Wahab

Bamvim - Anita, Jack, Yanshu, Laura
Jack, Yanshu, Anita and Laura in the community of Bamvim

 

 

Audrey, Taufik, Taylor, Micah and Anna in the community of Baayili
Audrey, Taufik, Taylor, Micah and Anna in the community of Baayili

 

Dzorsah, Greg, Wivine, Jen and Abby in the community of Changbuni
Dzorsah, Greg, Wivine, Jen and Abby in the community of Changbuni

 

Kathryn, Annalise, Simply, Molly and Aliyah in the community of Dawunyili
Kathryn, Annalise, Simply, Molly and Aliyah in the community of Dawunyili

 

Mcrid, Arielle, Kanaha, Lexie and Nestor in Jukuku
Mcrid, Arielle, Kanaha, Lexie and Nestor in Jukuku

 

Kelsea, Lucy, Bill, Sita and Diana in the community of Kanjeyili
Kelsea, Lucy, Bill, Sita and Diana in the community of Kanjeyili

 

Ayodele, Olivia, Lorry in the community of Komlanyili
Ayodele, Olivia, Lorry in the community of Komlanyili

 

Jhoanny, Adeel and Tim (missing: Shuoyang) in the community of Kpanshegu
Jhoanny, Adeel and Tim (missing: Shuoyang) in the community of Kpanshegu

 

Erin, Alexis, Peter, Swapnil and Julia in the community of Kpingiyili
Erin, Alexis, Peter, Swapnil and Julia in the community of Kpingiyili

 

Yi, Savannah, Eugenia and Chelsea in the community of Mahmuruyili
Yi, Savannah, Eugenia and Chelsea in the community of Mahmuruyili

 

TJ, Angela, Jose & John in the community of Moya
TJ, Angela, Jose & John in the community of Moya

 

Christina, Bethany, Sam, Julia and Sumaya in Sankunpe
Christina, Bethany, Sam, Julia and Sumaya in Sankunpe

 

Ashley, Lauren, Kate, Amina and John in Tantuani
Ashley, Lauren, Kate, Amina and John in Tantuani

 

Davis, Rachael, Vivian and Morgan in the community of Warivi
Davis, Rachael, Vivian and Morgan in the community of Warivi

 

Rachel, Ryan, Kristen, Wahab and Kevonté in the community of Yapala
Rachel, Ryan, Kristen, Wahab and Kevonté in the community of Yapala

 

 

Field Rep Voices – Team Molly, Annalise, Aliyah, Kathryn and Simply

Opening Day is arguably the most exciting day for the village during the process of starting the water business. It is the first day that the community can purchase clean water. While driving through large puddles on the way to our village, we all were thinking that, because of the rain, the community of Dawunyili may have decided to collect rain water with their buckets instead of coming to the water center. As we pulled up to the village, we found we were alone with a bunch of goats.

Just as we started to get a little nervous that no one would come, we saw a blue bucket in the distance, balanced on the head of one of the women. One by one more women and children came with the safe water storage containers and before we knew it, Opening Day had started! The women entrepreneurs had everything in control. Gurimpaga and Abiba were washing each safe storage container while Amama filled the 20 Liters full of clean water and kept track of how many people bought water. While the women were effectively running the business, Team Simply fixed leaky taps and sat back to watch as each bucket was filled.DSC08355

By the end of the morning, we lost count of how many buckets were filled since we were caught up in the moment. Thankfully, Amama kept a tally of the people and we were thrilled to count the totals and realize that every single household from the village and the Fulaani came to get clean drinking water! Team Simply was “killing the game” (a common phrase used by the best team leader, Simply).

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We have heard stories of gifts given to Saha Global on Opening Day, but when we saw that all of the community had filled the water containers, we realized how the community felt about getting access to clean water. Opening Day in Dawunyili village encompassed our daily interactions with the people in this community. It was perfect. Everything went well and the experience was fun, laid back, and overall joyful. Throughout the morning, we recognized that the village was excited to incorporate the water center into their lives.

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Team Simply is excited to return to the village to monitor after a day off. In addition, we are excited to work with the younger kids and educate them about the importance of keeping the water clean in their homes.  It will be hard to leave this amazing community, but we know we have made amazing new friends that we will never forget.

 

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