We already told you about our first meeting with Nima e.V. where we discussed our future cooperation. Nima e.V. is located in Tuba, a small Muslim community which is part of the outer districts of Accra. By now we already went there about three times and it is going to be much more in the upcoming weeks. On our first trip we just wanted to have a look at the community and get some impressions of the work Nima e.V. is doing over there.
Actually there is not much to tell about Tuba. It is a small village, the community seems to be a bit poorer than Accra and instead of churches you see a lot of mosques around. There are two schools in Tuba, one is sponsored by Nima e.V. just as well as a crèche and an orphanage. Muda, whom we met on our first meeting with Nima e.V and who is also the headmaster of the „Guenter Frey International School“ told us, that Tuba was founded by only one family that came from the mostly Islamic north to Tuba to found their own Muslim community over there. This is why everybody knows each other and most of the families in Tuba are all related somehow.
Muda himself is a Muslim as well, but he really changed the very conservative community within the last years.
At first this idea wasn’t received too well. Ayuba, who started to bring up the subject at the school, had to face quite a lot of parents telling him that he was a bad teacher who had nothing in mind, but spoiling their kids. Muda was blamed for the same reason and was even told to leave Tuba by parts of the community. But he didn’t give up and kept on talking to the people. Through this he did not only improve the religious tolerance within the years, but also changed the perception on sexual education.
I wouldn’t say that the Tuba people were eager to have their children receive sexual education, but at least they were open to listen to us presenting Boa Nnipa, our project and the idea of holding a sexual education seminar to their social workers.
This presentation was held at their monthly Parents-Teachers-Associates-Meeting (PTA) a few days ago. Before we faced that small challenge, we spoke to the teachers of the school several times, gave them a final rehearsal of the presentation and received some feedback on delicate issues, things we had to explain more comprehensively.
On the very day of the PTA-Meeting I was quite excited thinking of the presentation I was going to hold. Sure, I have spoken in front of bigger crowds, but this time I knew from the beginning that their thoughts about what we were going to present were rather sceptical. Beside that, I couldn’t be sure whether my young age would be a reason for the parents to not respect me as somebody to talk to them on that matter, somebody to give them advices.
But in spite of these worries the whole presentation went quite good. Unfortunately some parents had already left the meeting because our presentation was the last point on the agenda. But Muda insured that, due to the close relations of all the families, the news of us coming to Tuba were going to spread very fast. We didn’t get a lot of direct feedback, but I saw much more nodding than sceptical faces among the crowd. Some mothers were even muttering about those poor women who had left the meeting earlier and missed our presentation.
Sammy’s Ghanaian way of presenting: much louder, with more gestures, emotions, but yet very explicit, did reach them probably better than what I said, I have to admit. But me, talking in English could just as well be the reason. Most of the parents are only familiar with Twi and some other local Ghanaian languages. Therefore the Twi/English translator, who was one of the parents himself, was even more important. Muda too, was there the whole time to underline the things we said to make them more clear to the parents.
The seminar at Tuba will start this coming Monday and is scheduled for 6 days. Until then we’ll be busy with the preparations. With just one Sunday in between, we will then go on with the seminar for our own Boa Nnipa volunteers.
(f.l.t.r. Sammy, Jeff, Carla, Ayuba, Ragna)