Submitted by Michaela Sholes
Yesterday was a turning point for Medicine on the Move. Quite simply, experiences like yesterday’s training with the community members are why I returned to Ghana. Until this point, so much has been in preparation…preparation for our move to Ghana, preparation for the authorizations to line up, for the drops to start, to organize this training…at times, it feels overwhelming. But then, just when I think I have not an energized brain cell left to give…I find myself being given, through events like yesterdays, the most beautiful and humbling gift. The honor of being able to have had a part in helping that training happen, of getting to be a part of a movement for self-empowerment within the communities and getting to see first-hand their excitement and hope at that thought…is why I came back, and why I am proud to be a part of the efforts here at MoM.
Another favorite part of the day came during the Diarrhea section, as we discussed the far-reaching effects of community sanitation. Each member of the group was asked to think back on their day since they awoke and see if they could remember all the things they had touched. They were then asked how many of those things were items or places that other people also touched, like door handles, transportation van doors, etc… We then asked if they could guarantee that every person coming before them had washed their hands properly. Combined with a few stick-figure drawings to emphasize the point, the concept achieved its goal of helping them realize that small actions can have long-term good or bad effects. It was rather amusing to see many of their expressions when they thought about the role of flies and other Diarrhea carriers!
We are so incredibly thankful for everyone who helped make our first training such a success! Manye Esther did an amazing job mobilizing individuals from her networks to provide refreshments and a delicious lunch for the community members! Thank you as well to Audrey whose energy and support is indispensable to MoM, both in the Fulani camp and everywhere! To all the MOMMERS who were sending us good thoughts and vibes, we felt your encouragement and did our best to pass it on to others! There are a great many additional people whose efforts made yesterday possible through all kinds of support and the MoM team would just like to say a big “Thank you” (in English), “Medaase” (in Twi), “Akpe” (in Ewe), and “Muchum kaa!” (in Krobo).