The students from the University of Hohenheim share their experiences after having lived in Chereponi, Ghana, for one month.
In June, four students from the University of Hohenheim moved to Chereponi in Northern Ghana to support the Anoshe Women Project. Nora, Kristin, Nikolaus and Oswald will stay in the project for four months, until October, observing agricultural work in Ghana and doing research. In the long run, their research aims to help improve the productivity and sustainability of the Anoshe Women Project. We are delighted to have them share their insights on life and work in Chereponi on our blog.
One month in Chereponi
Living in Chereponi, we have become deeply aware of the daily challenges encountered by the people living here. They affect us just as much as they affect everyone else. One major challenge is the lack of reliable electricity supply. Sometimes we can connect to the internet, sometimes the water pump is working, sometimes there is electricity, other times there is none. Yet, one never knows when it will be on and nobody takes it for granted when it is. When there is no electricity, we look for immediate solutions for our most pressing issues, but leave everything else for later.
After overcoming some initial difficulties relating to the working environment and available resources, our work started abruptly and with full force. Working with the Anoshe Women Group (AWG) communities can only be described as an insightful experience. No day is as we expect it. Sometimes the smallest things take a long time and become incomprehensibly complicated. Other times, the most difficult problems are solved with ingenious easy and quick solutions. This makes our work ever more interesting.
The rainy season has started and the rains are pouring in their full splendour, now. Heavy rains are blocking important roads and leaving our rooms or going to the fields, often means taking an unwanted shower. (As we are writing this, a strong rain is attempting to inundate the courtyard of our compound). None the less, we, the AWG communities and us, try to arrange ourselves around these unpredictable inconveniences and spend our days working together. The AWG members and their families are contented that we are working with them and are eager to support us.
Many of the women here live in unimaginable situations. They have to walk for hours to get to the weekly market to sell their crops and buy some basic necessities. Back home they have to to cook, clean and take care of the fields and animals. Many of the women have no direct access to water, transport or other basic needs that in other parts of the world are taken for granted. Yet, with all these difficulties, it is astounding how positive the culture and the social atmosphere are. The Anoshe Women are cheerful and energetic, their motivation seems to be endless.
As to us, we have been welcomed and incorporated into the Chereponi society as if we had been living here for years. We receive more visits and invitations than we can accept and everybody offers their help with even the smallest thing. We invite friends over for dinner and are invited to meet families. We exchange thoughts and work on solutions for pressing problems that have to be tackled. Our “A ti she?” (how are you?) is always responded to with a big smile and a welcoming “Laifye!” (all is good!).
Our stay here has already left a lasting impression on us. We are looking forward to the upcoming months and are eager to learn and experience more from the Anoshe Women and the people we meet here.