My name is Julia and I am a new intern here at The Sankofa Center in Ghana. I am very pleased to be in such a beautiful country doing work towards educating the communities here about HIV/AIDS.
As a Public Health student, I believe that educating people about disease is essential to its prevention and hopefully someday the complete eradication of things like HIV/AIDS. Being here and being a part of that effort makes me feel as though I am making a difference and am making a positive impact on the culture surrounding HIV/AIDS in Ghana. This is especially true being that The Sankofa Center does not do outreach unless there are volunteers or interns in Ghana, so without me there would be no outreach happening for the next two weeks as there are no other interns or volunteers. It makes me a bit sad to know that when I leave, there are many communities that will not be able to receive education about HIV/AIDS.
Last week was my first outreach, and I will admit, learning how to do the dances is not easy! But with a lot of persistence and good teachers, I have at least a few of them down. It was great to see Richard in his element talking to the community about the transmission of HIV and how to prevent it. He says things very straightforward and as simple as possible so that everyone can understand. We also use illustrated cards to show what he is talking about.
It has also been great being able to explore parts of Ghana and go to different markets. Last week, I went to Osu and got to see a bigger city with many large buildings. I even went to the supermarket to buy some things that I was not able to find at the roadside here in Dome. Then this week, I went to the Makola market. It was very big, and there were a lot of people. I was on a mission to find some beads to make jewelry of my own with, and found the jewelry makers paradise thanks to a very nice young man who showed me where it was.
I am excited to experience more of Ghana in the next two weeks while I am here!