Last spring, CWS expanded our operations to the regions surrounding the city of Salaga, Ghana. This summer, we hosted our first Fellowship Program in Salaga. Two of the Fellows who came with us to Salaga, Caroline and Brigid, had already participated in the Fellowship Program and were returning to Ghana for a second time. Today’s blog post is written by Caroline, who we asked to write about the reasons why she wanted to join the Salaga Fellowship and share experience as a two-time CWS Fellow!
Returning to Ghana for the Salaga fellowship was an incredible experience. I have such distinct memories from both of my trips and it was amazing to return with the experience from my first fellowship. Having already been oriented to CWS’s approach, I was excited to use this knowledge in Salaga. I knew that I wanted to return to a country that I developed such a strong love for. My teammates and I had a great dynamic throughout my first fellowship, and Shak, our translator helped us to really get involved with Tohinayili, our community. On our last day, we all painted a mural on the school that said, “we promise to only drink clean water” and some of the children helped us by putting their handprints on the school wall. Painting the mural was one of my fondest memories and cemented my love for Ghana and interest in development work. I knew that I wanted to be part of the CWS team again and help them with their expansion to Salaga.
In regards to packing I felt a lot more prepared, I knew to bring plenty of the necessities, such as peanut butter and cheezits. Most of my focus went into fundraising. It was a bit daunting at first; I needed to be creative and think of different strategies. Writing an article about CWS in my local newspaper worked well. I live in a small town and many people heard about my trip and wanted to learn more about my involvement CWS. I also found that people felt involved with the fundraising when I came home and shared all my wonderful stories and photos with them. Having the experiences and pictures from the first fellowship made it easier to express to people what I was doing in Ghana and both new and old donors were excited and willing to help me reach my fundraising goal.
Salaga is a small town and spending two weeks there was an interesting change from Tamale. We had two bikes at the CWS house and I loved biking into market to buy groceries and fabric. Salaga’s small size made it easier to immerse myself in the community and connect with our neighbors. I went on a run after being out in the field and it suddenly down poured so I stopped and met a nice woman to talk with and wait for the rain to end under a large tree. The small community feel of Salaga is wonderful to experience and I enjoyed having time to explore.
My teammate and I implemented in Kabache-Kasawuripe, a community about an hour away from the CWS office. Our implementation process went quite well and I felt like I was able to build on my leadership skills within my team. Having already conducted a chief meeting and an opening day, I felt more confident in my abilities and this fueled a greater feeling of engagement with the community. I loved worked with Eric, our translator. He did a tremendous job helping us orchestrate all the various steps throughout the implementation process. Lamnatu, one of the women in charge of the business completely took over monitoring the water business and I enjoyed talking to her about the business and the ways we could support the system and maximize sales. Working and speaking with Lamnatu and my overall connection to Kabache-Kasawuripe is an incredibly fond memory. I thoroughly enjoyed my fellowship in Salaga and look forward to hopefully returning soon.
Sounds like your cup of tea? CWS is currently accepting applications for our winter fellowship program! Applications are due
October 3rd. October 7th. Click here to learn more and apply!