I messaged both Yvonne Field and Michael Hamilton that same afternoon of the 1st September where I shared my desire and asked if The Ubele Initiative had projects or knew of any that I could engage in. Both Michael and Yvonne introduced me to organisations, however, Dr Magna Aidoo had the most forthcoming lead contact connecting me to Mrs Rosemond Naana, the Founder the Girlswings Foundation in Akosombo, Eastern Region of Ghana.
After the introductory email and preliminaries shedding light on who I was, my desire for interaction in Ghana communication progressed slowly. Eager to establish a relationship, I sent emails to stimulate further communication. Mrs Rosemond Naana confirmed the project where my involvement would be required. An invite was extended on the 4th October to the 'How well do we Facilitate' Seminar where I was the keynote speaker. I was taken aback as I hadn’t expected such a forefront role, but I arose to the challenge and prepared a presentation covering “The role of the facilitator within our community-Menstrual Health infection Management-Candida infections”.
I also attended the event held at the Learning Field International School in Akosombo, Eastern Region on the 16th October; I felt excitement as we drove onto the grounds, I walked into a room buzzing with excitement... Beautiful young faces laughing and chatting. I immediately felt comfortable, this is where I am supposed to be. Dr Magna Aidoo and I purchased menstrual and educational supplies to be presented to Girlswings. The unexpected gift was received with thanks and gratitude by Mrs Rosemond Naana.
The delivery of my presentation and Q&A session, went well regardless of technical issues. The majority listened intently, some distracted with private chatter which I silenced fairly swiftly, others looked lost in the sea of my English flooding their ears. However, the girls and facilitators interacted enthusiastically and when beckoned asked a wide array of deep questions which affirmed the knowledge gaps and their thirst and need for further education. Why do we have pain when we menstruate? Why does blood smell? Can we wash internally? Can we eat sweets when menstruating?
The session was being closed with a series of dance off when I heard my name being chanted, talking about persistence, they laughed, clapped and continued to chant my name. Yes, I danced after collecting 2 girls. It was fun, vibrant, my interaction was appreciated. What a day!!!!! Amazing, fulfilling, but the challenge to meet the needs of girls in their communities is real and my work has just begun. I will continue to contribute to the 'Period Poverty Issue’, supplying hygiene packs, collaborating with organisations to support.
I will never forget - Ghana 2021.