Projects Abroad Mongolia cooperated with other NGO's.
Eventhough it was pretty freezing here in Ulaanbaatar, we were quite productive & were able have loads of fun!
Our activities included:
1.Giving away free condoms, infomation brochures
2. Speeches from our volunteers about how their country fights AIDS
3. Interactive competitions among youth
4. Small performances from artists
5. Small disco :)
Read more to view all of the photos! or visit our facebook page!
Hello everyone! happy happy Monday!
on 13th of September, Projects Abroad Mongolia had a Medical outreach at the detention center.
Our medical volunteers performed medical check-ups while other volunteers had a drawing competition with the kids. The kids sang a song and one kid even rapped for us :) (you can see the video on our facebook group page http:/
after the competition, Projects abroad Mongolia gave away basic hygiene products (tooth brushes, toothpaste, towel etc) and fruits, juices!
look how happy the kids and our volunteers were! Read more to view the photos!
Being a Thursday meant it was an outreach day and this Thursday didn’t disappoint! After getting a tro to Danquah to meet Richard, Louise, Lisa, Mary-Rose and Tyra, we boarded another tro that took me halfway home again, to Teshie, and after a short walk and a taxi we arrived at the UCC (Underprivileged Children’s Centre) where we were greeted by volunteers on the teaching project, including Olivia and Jonathan (2 months in Ghana, here with his wife who’s an experienced volunteer herself).
As always the medicine came first and (just as in England) the children didn’t need an excuse to get out of class! Each group was dismissed one at a time so that their minor wounds could be seen to... they were in fact exceptionally minor when compared to those seen in Bentem Village, but obviously still needed treating to prevent them from worsening! For some, however, one visit to the doctors wasn’t enough – children were actually scratching their wounds hard enough to make them start bleeding again just so that a second visit (and with it a second vitamin sweet) could be had!
One of the worst injuries I saw was what could only be described as a ‘hole’ in a boy’s foot... the cylindrical one pence piece sized ‘hole’ was about 3 or 4mm deep and had, like most of the other injuries seen that day, started out as a mosquito bite that got infected. We treated it with a hydrogen peroxide based liquid, that (although colourless from the bottle) started to foam the second it touched the open wound, providing both a deep cleansing action, not achievable with saline or alcohol, as well as forming a seal to prevent further infection. The medicine was followed by an impromptu HIV/AIDS presentation, the first of which I’d seen done by the HIV/AIDS volunteers, whilst Louise and I were told to take notes so that when the majority of these specialised volunteers departed over the coming weekend we would have the facts necessary to give this presentation to a community ourselves.
The presentation followed the following format and was trailed by a Q&A session:
(1) What do you already know?
(2) Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (Difference to AIDS)
(3) Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Difference to HIV)
(4) Transmission (including PMTCT – Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission)
(5) ABC (Abstain, Be Faithful, Condom)
(6) Testing, Symptoms and Positive Living
One particular girl was a little know-it-all, the Hermione Granger of the Ghanaian world, and consequently was keen to answer as many questions as she could, however, the other kids didn’t know much and so, although relatively young at 14-16, they gained a lot from our being there. One misconception that “a woman was bribed into having sex with a dog, which gave her AIDS, which in turn she then brought to Africa” was cleared up before a small quiz was given to make sure that the information had been taken on board – the most important part of these presentations!
After class was dismissed, ‘Hermione’ came up to the volunteers to ask us a question away from her classmates. At no older than 14, she expressed concerns about how she felt she should get tested for HIV but was scared and unaware of how to go about getting tested. After a couple of seconds of shock-induced-silence at the fact that a girl so young was asking us this, we regained our thoughts and explained that free testing was available at any hospital in Accra and that until she could get tested she should use the ABC rule to avoid both transmission of the disease and pregnancy. In response the mature-for-her-years girl explained that she had no intention of getting pregnant because firstly her Dad would disown her, and secondly, she wanted to stay at school so that she could get a good education to give herself the best chance at getting a good job which would allow her to “pay [her] parents back for all they’ve done for [her]”. There seems to be absolutely nothing out here in Ghana that can deter the children from dreaming big, no matter what their background, and for that I’m exceptionally grateful.
23rd and 25th August:
Tuesday was my first day on medical outreach, the basic idea of which is to go to communities and orphanages in the local area and provide basic medical assistance where required. However, before I’d even left the house that morning I was experiencing absolute agony in the form of one of my wisdom teeth forcing their way into my already overpopulated jaw. As I write this blog, nearly five days later, I’m still experiencing pain and usually have to take painkillers an hour before dinner so I can last the meal!
Pain aside though, I still met Mary-Rose, Tyra, Lisa, Louise and the Projects Abroad (PA) Medical Coordinator, Richard, at the post office at 8.30 and we took three tros to Bentem Village in Kasua. This was the first time PA had been to this village and so the day was a long one, but the adorable kids made it worthwhile. They did, however, come in their thousands – okay so maybe not, but there was a lot of them – and they ranged anywhere from about 3 to 14 years old. It was at this moment that I realised that the excitement of our arrival had spread like wildfire, creating the typical “African-children-excitedly-surrounding/swamping-a-white-person” image that is so commonly seen on television – naturally I got a photo! The kids loved the cameras and insisted on both having their photo taken as well as taking pictures of each other and the sight of themselves on the digital display was enough to make every single one of them burst into genuinely elated laughter!
We proceeded to set up a sterilised area for the treatment of approximately 50 kids; each child had their head checked for cuts and ringworm, followed by an inspection of the arms and legs for infected cuts and bites, with penicillin cream and poviodine solution being used as the only forms of treatment after an initial cotton-wool ball, saline wash. One of the mothers was also treated for a fungal infection of the arm, whilst a talk was given on HIV/AIDS to the older teens and the adults. There were lots of misconceptions on the appearance of a person with HIV/AIDS and their quality of life, as well as the general idea that “praying can cure HIV”, however, on the whole (given this was their first talk on the topic) the majority of their knowledge on methods of transmission was accurate – not having more than one sexual partner, not using needles etc.. Richard said that “small communities [like this one] don’t have a lot to do and so they get bored easily and ‘play in the dark’ from a younger age”, hence their increased susceptibility to STDs and the reason for our visit.
Whilst waiting for the tro back home the children sat with us, writing their names into the back of my notepad, and upon our departure we promised them we would come back again two days later, on the Thursday, with gifts. On the journey home I got to experience my first Fan Ice, which was DELICIOUS! It’s basically liquid ice cream and is a favourite of Reid’s, who has described it as “paradise in a bag”. Being a Tuesday, it was then time for quiz night... Ed had written out the questions for us to ask but as a group we deemed them too hard! Ed convinced us otherwise, saying that he would take any blame if he was wrong, however, last minute he ditched us to go watch the football, leaving Charlotte, Vicky, Reid and I to look like (ridiculously well cultured) mugs – next morning at breakfast there were definite evil glares across the bread and butter!
Thursday’s outreach was exceptionally similar – hence the one blog – except for the addition of (the other) Lisa and Angelique. We also arrived to fewer children and it was explained to us that most of them were out helping on the enormous pineapple plantation... word soon got out though and they flooded back. On the whole the wounds were a lot worse than on Tuesday but Richard had told them to bathe before our arrival so it was generally easier to treat them; those that had bathed got a cookie, which caused chaos to ensue with many children queuing up twice or stealing cookies from others! This was followed by more chaos in the form of footballs which Tyra had brought along... kids were being knocked over and pushed, whilst parents were shouting, so the balls were taken away and distributed in a more controlled manner, which led to a fun game of football.
I became particularly attached to a little guy who was being bullied by an older boy, who on several occasions was seen pushing ‘my’ guy over and walking away smirking. ‘My’ guy was sporting a fancy gold and black felt jacket and shoes that were miles to big for him, which when coupled with his huge tear-filled eyes, made for an adorable picture of the two of us... but ten minutes later when I put him down he ran off to get a rock which he promptly threw at the kid that had been bullying him... karma?
Home time brought with it more tros (one of which broke down), another Fan Ice (a post-outreach tradition now) and another evening at Ryan’s (the Irish bar), where all the volunteers chatted about the week’s placement experiences, whilst enjoying happy hour (Savanna cider = 2 Cedis 50 = £1.25). Ryan’s was followed by “Containers”, which I could only describe as a patio in front of an off-licence, where more alcohol was consumed and drunken dancing with the locals began. Richard kept feeding Reid, Ed and I Jack Daniels, which had disastrous effects on both Reid and Ed, and caused us all to suffer the next day.
As a side note, before Ryan’s, I’d reached the now all too familiar three-time weekly need to shave... I don’t know what it is out here – maybe the heat – but it just seems necessary to do it so much given the rate at which it grows! I’m not going to lie but I’ve actually become a bit of a pro at the “without-mirror” method in which I use the reflective surface of the glossed tiles in the bathroom... eurgh, I miss home!
An outreach I've always enjoyed going to is the toothbrushing outreach!! This month, the Koforidua group was able to go to a small school in Akwadum called D/A Primary School.
The shy and excited children first welcome the group of volunteers, and it’s always nice to see how ready they are to learn!
The volunteers teach a series of things: what you need to brush your teeth, when do you brush your teeth, what happens when you brush your teeth, and what can happen if you don’t! The medical coordinator, Gifty, translates for the children who do not speak English. We even sang a song together to teach them the hand motions of brushing up and down, and back and forth.
We then had one of our volunteers show them how to correctly brush their teeth, which made the children very happy! Four children were called on to see if they had learned how to brush their teeth correctly, which was also cheered on by the rest of the class.
After that, we were able to give each child in the class a toothbrush and a bit of toothpaste, to encourage them to keep this a daily habit.
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