- Group:Young Farmers
- Age:19-26 years old
- Group Size:10 members
- Project:Agriculture & Community
- Destination:Akuapem Hills, Ghana
Ten avid Young Farmers left the coast of Britain and ventured to the unknown territory of Ghana, Western Africa in August this year. Two weeks of living in each other’s pockets, snotty noses and ‘bucket showers’ later and they had made lifetime friends, had given a dreary school building a new lease for life and had experienced a culture so very different from their own.
Before we went away
The process started in October when the details of YFC Travel trips were released. Us girls filled forms in and went for an informal interview at the NFU Mutual Headquarters in Stratford. Eight months later, having done our fundraising we were jetting off to Accra, the capital city of Ghana.
What we did
On arrival we were driven north to the Akuapem Hills where we were to spend the next few weeks. Our days consisted of working in the mornings, either painting or farming then returning home for food and rest before visiting a Day Care Centre in the afternoon to entertain the children. Following a week of painting at the Christian Unity Preparatory School in Mampong we were presented with gifts from the Headmaster, Teachers and the PTA and thanked for our help. The experience will stand out in our minds because of the dodgy rat infested toilet block and the football pitch we had to drive across to reach the school, sometimes with a game in mid-play!
A week spent farming consisted of feeding and cleaning the animals, raising beds, weeding the maize (with a machete!) and planting cassava, plantain and tomatoes. We also visited a farmers market, palm wine factory and a gari making plant and had the chance to see how Ghanaian’s make a living from farming.
In between the hard work and entertaining the children at the day care centre, we had a chance to see Ghana’s rich, vibrant culture. These ranged from a yompatompatom cooking lesson, dancing and drumming lessons, a visit to a bead and wood market and broom making. We also had the chance to visit Cape Coast, where we were given a tour of an important castle during the slavery era and given an eye opening account of the way slaves were treated. Following this we visited the Kakum rainforest where we bravely made our way across the ropey untrustworthy ladders of the canopy walkway – a rope ladder suspended 40 metres above the floor. Having already witnessed Ghana’s dodgy architectural work, we were glad to hear they were designed and built by Americans!
Although we only spent 2 weeks in Ghana, we got to see how the real people lived by staying with a family and joining in with their life. We were taken to church and introduced to many Ghanaian delicacies, with most meals consisting of rice, a boiled egg or fried chicken! The people there have a completely different take on life and couldn’t quite understand our descriptions of life as British Young Farmers! The YFC Travel program gave us a chance to live life in an entirely different environment and culture and we encourage anyone who wants to travel to give it a go and to take advantage of the trips on offer.