Vehicle ride with Awudu, a WUSC employee

This is it. After one year of preparation, of financement and of extremely formative activities, the G.C.I.U.S (Sherbrooke University International Collaboration Group) 2018 edition is ready for takeoff to Ghana. For the next 15 weeks, six engineering students and one political science student (international relationship profile) will actively participate in the implementation of a community resource centre which will enhance the teaching regarding the breeding of guinea fowls and the agriculture of their feed.

A question is worth being asked : what does it mean to be ready for takeoff? Like astronauts, it is impossible to list every possible unplanned events. However, it is possible to prepare for this eventuality and like every international collaboration projects, events out of the control of the team will happen and the unknown therefore becomes very attractive when accepted. In front of an extremely different culture, but oh how rewarding, juggling with objectives and expectations will be constantly needed. Beyond the construction of the building, an honest attempt at understanding and at adopting local life habits will be necessary to get to know issues that are really important within the community. Their help and their knowledge will be at the heart of the project and it is with an open mind  that the GCIUS team wants to get involved day after day.

Arrival in Tamale, Wednesday September 5th around 5pm

In this type of project, many things must be considered : construction, security, planning, modifications, budgeting, intercultural relationships, culture shocks and the list could go on forever. In parallel, a constant research will be made to detect potential for a complementary project that could be realize during our stay. This international collaboration project thus presents itself as an opportunity where learning is reciprocal and even bigger for us volunteers than for local participants. The ultimate goal aims for equality fairness and humility, helping the most vulnerable in their developpement : women and youth.

More details will come in the following weeks. This article is the first of a serie that will be updated weekly. Sporadically, volunteers who wants to write an article on a more personal level will be more than welcome to do so, sharing their experiences.

On behalf of the entire team, I would like to thank every person that has crossed our path to this day and that has influenced it positively. You truly enriched the whole team doing so and you are a part of why we are at this point. Now, let us show you how much we are happy to be living this journey and how much we really care.

Jordan Laroche