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Regional News of Saturday, 8 December 2018

Source: Selina Aboyinga

sfd Foundation girls camp event report

The 2018 edition of the sfd Foundation Capacity Building Adolescent Girls Camp which was held at St Mary’s Vocational Institute, Tamale has successfully ended.

The 3-day camp which started from 23rd to 26th August, 2018, under the theme, “Facing the Adolescent Transition into Adulthood with Confidence and Good Decision Making”, saw the participation of a total number of 67 girls from both the urban and rural settings.

It was marked with very impactful and interactive discussions including several encounters ranging from moments of pleasantries/bonding among participants to theatre nights, super morning fitness (exercise), group discussions/team work, fun games and skills/talent show, insightful solidarity messages and presentations on the theme of the event.

The first day of the camp, Thursday 23rd August, marked the arrival and registration of all participants to the camp. This was followed by a period of exchange of pleasantries and bonding among the girls and organizers. This session was very important because it afforded participants the opportunity to introduce themselves to one another by names and also get to know the groups they belonged to, groups which were formed as part of activities that were to be held during the camp period. It helped them to familiarize themselves with their fellow group members. The interesting thing about the bonding night is that, it led to the adoption of a motto for the camp which was; “Be Real”.

Day 2 of the camp activities begun with an effective, yet fun fitness exercise. This was followed by the second part of the morning session thus, the Opening Ceremony which featured dignitaries and collaborators from the Department of Gender in the Northern Region, Eqwip Hubs, Ring-Tamale, DKA Ghana, ExLA Group as well as facilitators, sfd Foundation team, parents/guardians of participants, the media, all participants and the general public.

Mr. Bernard Alando, one of the directors of sfd Foundation gave a welcome address as he officially welcomed all present.

This was followed by remarks from the Chief Executive Officer/ Founder of sfd Foundation Miss Selina Aboyinga. She welcomed and expressed her gratitude to all present while outlining the aim of the camp and why the theme, “Facing the Adolescent Transition into Adulthood with Confidence and Good Decision Making”, was chosen for the camp.

She also indicated, the camp was aimed at exchanging ideas and learning between rural and urban ladies. This, she believes, will enable beneficiaries develop social skills, imbibe in them a sense of human integrity and confidence, assist them to find ways of facing challenges, teach them the value of hard work to foster independence, cultivate the attitude of team work to build character and to explore new things as adolescents.

She advocated, “Adolescent transition as our theme for this year is a “must pass through” period for every human being which includes girls. It is therefore important to talk about this period and also the decisions to be taken along these changing periods.” “It will be our utmost joy and hope to see that this camp helps you prepare for adulthood at the end of it”, she added.

This was followed by messages of support and solidarity from the various institutions and organizations represented at the opening ceremony delivered by Madam Bushira Alhassan, the in-charge (head) of the Department of Gender – Tamale, Alysha Chagani and Zenaida Duarte who represented Eqwip Hubs – Tamale, Mr. Daniel Osei Tuffuor, the Executive Director of ExLA Group – Accra,

Dr. Salifu Edward Mahama, the Coordinator of DKA Austria projects in Ghana, Director of IIRaCS-UDS Tamale and a member of the advisory board of sfd Foundation.

The ceremony was however, climaxed with an interactive session led by Ms. Clarissa Heger, the gender specialist of Ring-Tamale, who expressed her excitement for being part of the event and further encouraged participants to take all what had been told them serious.

The afternoon session of Day 2 of the camp threw more light on the theme for the event and began with a presentation on the topic: “Transition into Adulthood”. They learned about the critical stage or period of human development that occurs between the ages of 18-30.

A period of social, psychological, economic, and biological transitions which usually determines the quality of the future of people. This was delivered by Alysha Chagani and Zenaida Duarte from Eqwip Hubs. It was an interactive PowerPoint presentation in which participants were actively involved. Activities included questions and answers session, group sharing and reporting.

The afternoon then ended with a one-on-one counselling session by with the girls which gave them the opportunity to share their challenges and perplexities with the more experienced facilitators for guidance.

In a more relaxed atmosphere, right after supper and refreshment, the evening session encouraged participants to share their experiences of all activities during the day as well help each other do any work assigned to them. It was another interactive session.

The third day of the camp was filled with a mixture of intellectual engagement and fun. The day begun with the usual morning keep-fit exercise led by Eric Achuadem after which participants were prepared for the morning session activities which commenced with a presentation by Mr. Daniel Osei Tuffuor, the Executive Director of ExLA Group based in Accra, on the topic, ‘Good Decision Making’.

He stated that, decision making is key in every human setting and as adolescents, it was equally crucial. However, people within the adolescent stage would have to be more conscious when taking decisions due to future ramifications. He listed some important elements an adolescent need to know to help in taking good decisions: • Learning to know yourself • Becoming conscious of who you are • Differentiating what is positive thoughts from negative • Being able to make a choice

‘If you are able to develop as adolescent, the making a good decision wouldn’t be a problem’ he concluded. This was followed by some fun activates (games) among participants, to end the morning session.

The afternoon session also begun with a presentation on the topic: ‘Confidence Building of the Adolescent’, which was led by the Miss Selina Aboyinga the founder of sfd Foundation. A power point presentation, which was opened with a 3 minutes art video on confidence, participants were then taken through the art of confidence, and the ways through which they can boost their self-confidence. Participants were then made to demonstrate their confidence as individuals and as members of teams. They were involved in an exercise of building long and less supportive towers with balloons demonstrating team work, spread, trust, integrity among others within ten (10) minutes.

The evening session was even more interactive and fun as participants were engaged in a skills and talent show where they displayed their various skills in riddles, singing and dancing among others. It was a “free night of show”, a night of fun, “a girl’s rock night” a night of laughter.

The evening was heightened with a candle light of reflection moment, where all participants had light on their candles and in a moment of silence, reflected on all that had happened from Day 1 of the camp including the solidarity messages that were delivered, all presentations, fun moments, socialization moments among others. This exercise was to ensure that all participants understood the activities of the camp and were being impacted adequately for their endeavors.

The 4th and final day of the congress which also marked the closing ceremony and gave rise to a group work session as participants made brief presentations on what they had learnt from the camp.

This was immediately followed by an awards moment which saw four outstanding participants who proved beyond thoughts, their commitment to the activities of the camp being awarded. The awards categories included:

*Most active and determined participant from the rural areas. *Most active and determined participant from the urban areas *Most hard working and respectful participant *Most proactive and determined participant of the 2018 girls camp

Finally, a closing remark was delivered by the founder of sfd Foundation, Miss Selina Aboyinga as she expressed her gladness and joy for a great event. She congratulated participants for having comported themselves and going through the camp successfully. She encouraged them to allow all that had been thought them sink deep within them, guide them, cause a change in their lives and affect all around them.

She added that “our doors are open; we want to journey with you, call on us anytime, see us as friends and don’t be afraid to share or have a conversation with us. Let’s journey together, lets grow together, lets dream together and let us succeed together as friends, as girls, as women”.