On our first full day in Ghana our volunteers took a trip to Lolito, the small village about 30 minutes from Woe. During the Ghana 2017 trip our volunteers visited Lolito and on return to the UK, we have continued to communicate with the village and fundraise to be able to support them.
This year the residents knew we were coming and we were greeted at the village primary school by the whole community. We were welcomed back to Ghana with many smiles and thanked for our previous visit to Lolito.
Following introductions and speeches from village elders, church leaders, school teachers and Miss Bluett and Mrs Mackew (much to their surprise!) the group were treated to their first taste of African drumming and dancing. Towards the end of the celebration our volunteers were invited to join in with the agbadza dance (nicknamed the chicken dance!). While the pupils were reluctant to join in at first, they soon got the hang of it and sat down afterwards with big smiles.
We then proceeded to some presentations. Since returning from the Ghana 2017 trip a small community committee has formed with the aim of supporting Lolito. Cirencester Deer Park School alongside local churches and the Royal Agricultural College have been collecting items of clothing, sports kit, reading glasses and stationary to donate to Lolito. These organisations have also collectively raised £500 which the village are going to use to concrete the floor of their church. This is a building which is used by the whole village and forms the centre of the community. Our pupils and staff presented these items to the community and were also able to deliver the cement which had already been bought to complete the floor before taking a tour of the village.
On the tour of the village, our volunteers were invited inside some of the homes of the community. The basic kitchen and bathroom facilities in many of the houses was a shock to some of the volunteers and in discussion afterwards, all were humbled by the joyful welcome and community atmosphere of the village even while their possessions and facilities were so basic.
Before leaving Lolito, the local children played with the volunteers, teaching them clapping games with varied amounts of success. We hope that our link with Lolito is one which continues to grow and develop and that we can continue to support this community when our next group of volunteers visit in April 2019. Lolito school now need school resources and would like to have access to ICT facilities so watch this space – there may be another fundraiser coming soon.