SAP Social Sabbatical Ghana - week 1!

Time is going by fast… the first week of the social sabbatical in Accra, Ghana is a fact! And it all started a few months ago when I applied for the SAP social sabbatical program. I wanted to expand my horizon and learn from different cultures. Go out of my comfort zone… And it sure is out of my comfort zone! What a difference Ghana is compared to Holland, but what a lovely people I’ve met here already :-) In this blog I want to give you an insight of our experience in Ghana, not only by words but definately with lots of pictures (they tell more…). I hope you’ll enjoy it!

And so it began on the first of October. I got on the plane to Accra, Ghana and met with my other 11 colleagues from across the globe to start this journey together. We will be supporting and working together with a couple of NGO’s in Ghana. We’ve been divided in subgroups of three people, and my teammates are Susan from the USA and Bence from Hungary. I have to say that we are a good mix of different expertise and personality! Over the next couple of weeks the three of us will be working together with the Youth Bridge Foundation. This foundation supports a positive development of the youth in Ghana.

The SAP Social Sabbatical Ghana team
The SAP team together with the Ghana NGO organisations we will support over the next weeks

We began the week on Monday with meeting the four NGO client organisations we will support the next couple of weeks, including our client organisation Youth Bridge Foundation. So, after we’ve all met with the larger team on Monday our subteam started on Tuesday at the office of the Youth Bridge Foundation. Me, Susan and Bence we’re really excited to start and also curious to the rest of the team of the Youth Bridge Foundation! We had a warm welcome on Tuesday by all the team members at the office and got a chance to talk with them and get to know them. They are so passionate about their foundation and helping the youth of Ghana in becoming good adults. This is very inspiring!

The following days we had good sessions with the team and learned a lot about what the Youth Bridge Foundation is and what they do. It was so good to see how they work together and are ONE team. Lots of laughs we had at the office so far, thus I am feeling very comfortable that the remaining 3 weeks will go by fast and with positive energy!

Me, Susan and Bence in front of the office of the Youth Bridge Foundation in Accra
On the left Seth Oteng (Executive Director of the Youth Bridge Foundation) and the team all collaborating
Some more collaboration and sharing of insights in what the Youth Bridge Foundation does
And our own office space with airconditioning!! :-)
And we had the great honour of celebrating this girl (middle) her birthday last week!

On Thursday we we’re invited by Seth Oteng (the Executive Director of the Youth Bridge Foundation) to the CODEO conference, which is the Coalition of Domestic Elections Observers. The Youth Bridge Foundation is also involved here, to create awareness amongst the youth in Ghana for the national elections. The Dutch Embassy is also involved and supportive of the elections in Ghana. Good to see this cooporation. And we even got an invitation to the Dutch Embassy to discuss the topic of youth in Ghana. We will definately use the opportunity to do so.

CODEO (Coalition of Domestic Election Observers) conference
Caecilia of the Dutch Embassy speaking to the audience

Besides all these great experiences we also had the possibility to see and explore Accra and the local food (which is spicy!! And to be honest, not my favorite as a Dutch ‘not-really-used-to-spicy-food’ kind of girl ;-)

View from the lighthouse of Accra
At James Town, Accra
Big smiley faces (although they don’t have much here in James Town…)
And there it is…. the spicy food! Typical Ghanian food with lots of rice, beans and yes spices ;-)
Exploring Accra
Me and Susan still don’t believe how these ladies hold these heavy plates on their heads…
And of course a subteam selfie!!

Now the weekend is finally here and we have some time to relax and prepair ourselves for the coming week. We will deepdive into our assignment more and start working on the deliverables, which will be a communications strategy for the Youth Bridge Foundation. So, to be continued…

I will definately keep taking lots of pictures and share them with you in my next blog post!

Groetjes uit Ghana!