SCHEFO staff member Camilla Hermann is at Buduburam for two weeks to check in on our projects, update communication structures, and maintain the connection between our New York and Ghana bases. Camilla will be posting regularly about the work she and other SCHEFO staff members are doing on the camp.
We would like to extend a special thanks to Henry Gartor, who has provided us with free internet and printing during my stay on Buduburam.
The first two days in Ghana have disappeared quickly into the heavy heat of the Harmattan season. We spent this time going around to our beneficiaries, checking in on those who are sick, and making contact with the few surviving non-profits on the camp. It was wonderful to see everyone again!
Keith and I conducted two staff meetings on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. During these we discussed the upcoming Nutritional Certification Program, progress on the Kitchen Project, and took suggestions for potential seminar topics. These seminars cater specifically to our staff and beneficiaries; we teach what they want to learn. We’ve found that these seminars are important means of building community.
The suggested topics were as follows: domestic violence, personal hygiene, HIV/AIDS, and child abuse. We will pick two of these to orchestrate after the three day Nutritional Certification Program has been completed.
The Nutritional Certification Program is a three-day intensive seminar that will provide the necessary education and skill training that our Kitchen staff require to fully support our beneficiaries. Each day we will begin with a breakfast of meat pies and a short lecture, followed by an interactive workshop. We will cook lunch as a community and learn about the nutritional properties of the food involved during this process.
The topics of the educational sessions will be nutritional content of foods, basic nutrition, personal hygene, breast feeding, and psychological health. The necessity of these last two topics is paramount when considering our target beneficiaries: single mothers and their children who have been forced into commercial sex work as a result of the conditions on the camp.
We are currently coordinating with the head nutritionist on Buduburam, a Ghanaian named Adam, who works in conjunction with St. Gregory’s Clinic, the only medical facility available to the 60,000 refugees living on the camp.
On Wednesday evening we convened a Board meeting with members Jerry Braimah, Emmett Tumbay, Mae Moisema, Henry Gartor, Director Keith Kortu, and myself. Our sixth board member, Elizabeth Glaeser, was deeply missed. She is currently working on behalf on SCHEFO in New York alongside our Creative Director, Anna Bjerknes to apply for funding for the Kitchen Project. The meeting went well into the night as we discussed plans for SCHEFO and outlined a strategy for nailing down the logistics of a repatriation effort in the coming years. Also on the agenda were sustainability projects.