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Introducing myself and my journal: A little lost in Ghana

About Me:
Hello all. My name is Amy, I'm 25 and am a Voluntary Services Overseas volunteer in Ghana. I teach Elective Chemistry (pre-university level) Chemistry to Senior Secondary School students in Tumu. Tumu is the most remote town of its size in Ghana, situated 3 and 4 miles away from the nearest Ghanaian town. It is very close to the border with Burkina Faso. We are one of the last towns to be connected by a tarred road, many do not have running water and must fetch it from a standing pipe. We have electricity, although its reliability is not always certain, and at the moment a bus drivers strike is restricting our movements. It has been said that the Northern Regions are nearly 50 years behind the South and you can feel it it Tumu. We have one doctor in the hospital here which serves Tumu and the surrounding villages. We have a dam but no formal irrigation system and farming is the main source of income for the majority of people here. HIV rates are apparently rising, not falling, death before the age of 5 years old is at least at 1 in 5, maternal mortality is at least 1 in 10, and only 30% of the senior school population is female. Female genital mutilation and cutting are still widely practiced, male teachers have sex with female students and often get them working in their homes or on their farms, corporal punishment is widely practiced and rape and voilence are common but unreported. These are my challenges. What I can do to help I still haven't figured out, but there it is. Wish me luck!


JaniceW's picture


Amy, we are so thrilled that you have joined our online community. I encourage you to reach out to other members, especially those from Ghana, or start a dialogue by commenting on another journal entry. I believe that by you telling your story, one more voice may feel empowered to speak out and take a stand on behalf of the unheard. Your challenges seem great indeed but I am sure that with the Tumu community, you will overcome some of what now seems insurmountable. You are doing such important work and I applaud you for all your efforts. I know that you will be able to transform lives as you share your knowledge, dreams, ideas and hopes.

I am so happy that you have joined our Voices of Our Future group. You might want to browse through all of our community groups as it's a great way to build powerful networks, find members with similar interests to your own, share ideas or actions. With the group journal, you can brainstorm solutions, pose questions, test ideas and create a support network for your visions. You might also consider joining the Campaign for Female Education group, dedicated to fighting poverty and HIV/AIDS in rural communities in Africa by educating girls and investing in economic and leadership opportunities for them once they leave school. You can find this group at:

So, welcome. I know that you will find this to be a positive experience.
PulseWire Community Director

jadefrank's picture

Good Luck Amy!

Hi Amy,

Welcome to PulseWire! I think that you will find this to be a welcoming and collaborative community where you can connect with other women in Ghana and in Africa to learn more from them and share ideas for making a positive impact on the lives of women in your community. And continue to share your voice and your experience there in Tumu. I look forward to hearing more from you and I wish you well on your journey and experience in Ghana.

Warm regards,

amygilewski's picture

A small error

I've just notice that the nearest town is 3 or 4 miles away. A small typing error. Of course, in Africa, distance doesn't mean much, only the time it takes to get there. What I meant to say was that the nearest town is 3 or 4 HOURS away by bus, add a bit for a Tro. And because of the roads and the distance of Tumu away from anyone who truly cares enough to complain, the bus is the oldest and badly kept of any in Ghana. Not quite the Greyhound or National Express us "Westerners" are used to.

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