Since I celebrated my birthday this week I thought it would be proper to introduce myself on the blog now. On Wednesday I turned one – one year in Guabuliga, one year in Ghana and one year with BRAVEAURORA!
My name is Severin Schwaiger, I am 28 years old and austrian citizen. Since May 2012 I live in the community of Guabuliga, where I work as the project manager of BRAVEAURORA.
As you can imagine in my job there are plenty different things to do besides the "normal" office work. The pace of life is different to the european one, things are done in a different way, the culture and the language demand a different way of behaving, almost every day i have to deal with unforeseen issues - these are some of the reasons why I enjoy the work so much!!
Let me tell you with a few pictures about the most outstanding happenings in my life - in the previous week. I am going to talk about additional happenings besides the office work.
On Tuesday, the 30th of April, we held a parents meeting in the morning.
|With BRAVEAURORA social worker madam Suzie and some of the parents|
The 44 children BRAVEAURORA takes care of come from 26 families - and one family member of each family is supposed to be part of the parents meeting. We met at 7a.m. Since the rain started (the farming season started equally) the parents are in the need to go to their farms - that is why we meet early like this.
At the parents meeting we discussed a lot about the micro credit program. All parents were given a micro credit, and now it is the time to pay back.
|The whole micro credit group - taken in June 2012, when the micro credit cycle started|
Another important topic at the parents meeting was the waste situation in Guabuliga. The parents were asked to be good role models in the community and to keep their environment clean.
On Wednesday we held a kids meeting. At a kids meeting all children under care of BRAVEAURORA are supposed to attend.
|Some of the children in the newly renovated social work office|
At the meeting we introduced two social work students from Vienna, who are here to do their internship with BRAVEAURORA. We also talked about topics concerning the health of the children, about the importance of studying hard to go into a better future, we gave out deworming tablets (that is what we do every 3 months) and we also spoke about the importance to keep the environment clean.
After the kids meeting we seperated ourselves (including the BRAVEAURORA staff) into 4 groups and started to pick rubber bags and other waste materials in the community. Some of the community members were really surprised to see all of us doing so, but later on they appreciated our efforts.
|Collecting waste in the area of the GREENBELT (you can see some fenced trees)|
|This is what BRAVEAURORA employees and children collected in about 2 hours|
The cleaning exercise is also ment to create awareness in the minds of the community members about this topic. In the next week I will have a chiefs meeting with all of his elders - and protecting the environment will be the topic. We are going to implement measures to prevent the community from getting dirty like this again.
On Thursday in the morning I recieved a call from Mikel, the carpenter in Guabuliga. He informed me that he had finished to work on the houses of the children, and that I should come and have a look at his work.
Before the children are reintegrated, the BRAVEAURORA social workers do plenty field visits and analyze the situation of each child. One of the things they look at is the housing situation. BRAVEAURORA renovated many houses, and for some children a new house was built. The building is done by the family, but the NGO provides some help like a bag of cement, cotar(for plastering) and a door, a window and a roof.
Since Mikel has finished, we spent a long time yesterday in the morning walking from house to house and inspecting his work.
|Mikel shows me something at Walius house|
Mikel has done well!
Yesterday in the afternoon I had a meeting with the Chief of Guabuliga and sister Garrido from "Our Lady of Rocio Clinic, Walewale". The sisters use a clinic in the community of Guabuliga. For now it is only operating for one day in the month, since they do not have enough staff. The need to open this clinic permanently is big, the next clinic is far (and transportation is always difficult), snake bites and malaria are common problems especially during the farming season, many babies and pregnant women are often in the need of a clinic,... The meeting was there to identify possible measures that would allow Guabuliga to have a poermanently operating clinic in the community (and to identify the part BRAVEAURORA should play).
|With the Chief of Guabuliga and sister Garrido|
I want to use this opportunity to thank the donors of BRAVEAURORA who make our work possible. “Thank you” comes in my name, but more in the name of the children and the whole community of Guabuliga. Without your support we would not be able to do our work.
I wish you a nice weekend,
Diningbela (“see you later” in Mampruli, the language spoken in Guabuliga)