Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Introducing Team Bolga

Wuntenga and zaare to the Bolga team's blog! If your Frafra is not up to scratch then let us be your guides to the language. Wuntenga is good afternoon and zaare is welcome. If you wish to say wuntenga to more than one person the plural prefix is ya, so greet your friends later today with a great, warm, ya wuntenga!

Besides providing some free language lessons this blog will also take you on a tour through the twelve weeks of our programme here in Bolgatanga, the capital of the Upper East region in Ghana. For those that do not know, there are six international and two national volunteers here working with an NGO by the name of TradeAID. Our project will be looking at how to help those working within the craft industry of the Bolgatanga municipality. To get things started, here's an introduction to the team.

(from left) Conrad, Bel, Daniel, Hannah, Winifred, Therri, Ola and Nasim 


Winifred Alayine is a national volunteer under the International Service Scheme. She is 24 years of age and graduated from the Bolgatanga Polytechnic with an HND in Marketing. She is currently doing her national service with TradeAID as a marketing officer. One of her roles in that area is to promote the sale and consumption of local rice. The international volunteers already love her as she entertains everyone with her singing and laughing.


Nasim is a 21 year old Londoner studying Sports Business Management. During his time in Ghana he hopes to gain a fresh perspective on life by putting his studies into action, developing his cultural understanding whilst getting involved with the wheelchair basketball players of the town. In the few weeks I’ve known him, Nasim has come across as a thoughtful, easy-going and grounded individual and I’m extremely pleased to have him on our team!


Positive, energetic and outgoing, Dan is studying History at Southampton University. He is a punctual person who likes to complete any task given to the group in record time, always based upon a good night’s rest! He loves to help others and is excited to be working with TradeAID as he is looking forward to seeing how sustainable development programmes work in practice.


Claire Isabel Wood also goes by the name of Bel. She is a geographer through and through and keeps on pointing out interesting facets of the terrain that we pass. Passionate about human rights she easily fell into the programme where she could help others and see a direct impact of her work. She will always interact with any people that we meet and make sure that we leave them with a smile from ear to ear. It will be a great honour to work with someone so devoted to putting others before herself.


An ambitious individual with a keen interest in African politics and development work, Ola is from Nigeria and has been living in London for the last 6 years studying Politics at Greenwich University. He hopes that this experience will give him more of an insight into these areas which will help him in his future career. Having grown up in West Africa, Ola is already more than proficient in the local Azonto dance, and will be representing the Bolga team in any future dance offs. 


Hannah is 23 years of age, from Suffolk and holds a degree in English Literature and French. Her joint honors degree was completed at Leeds University involving a year abroad in Toulouse. She is very calm, honest, sociable, passionate and tolerant. Hannah would like to learn more about NGOs and social enterprises and she is also really keen to learn how to prepare Ghanaian cuisine. Hannah will be a remarkable person to work with as far as I am concerned.


Our resident international man of mystery, Duti ‘Conrad’ Billarh, is 26 and has a degree in Integrated Development Studies. Conrad currently works within TradeAID as an Advocacy Officer. This role involves conducting research and making the findings available for others, whilst also lobbying for better conditions regarding market assets and fair trade. In person Conrad exudes calmness. He is a very reserved individual, soft spoken and articulate, whose true passion lies within the arts, dabbling in painting and music in his spare time. As one of team Bolga’s main points of contact, he readily answers queries and provides members with advice and assistance wherever needed. The man epitomizes true professionalism.


Therri is the new team leader of the TradeAID IS volunteers. Since graduating from Bristol University in Maths, Therri has tackled many different avenues including marketing, PR, IR and charity work - she is clearly one driven 23 year old. She applied to IS for the team leader role, having had previous travel and volunteer experience, and of course they snapped her up! Therri is very fond of a good boogie and is known for some cracking moves such as “doing my makeup” and “chop ma money”. Jokes aside, one week in I have already learnt so much from her. Therri has excelled as a reliable and inspiring leader, and we are all looking forward to working with her for the next 3 months!


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