Saha Global Field Representative – Alexie Lessing

“You can never understand development work until you are actually on the ground and can understand the opportunities and limitations for sustainable projects based on local communities.”

Thanks to the CCCS Grant, I was able to work with Saha Global this summer to bring clean water to the rural village of Gbunja in northern Ghana! It was an amazing experience to train community women to use local and sustainable technology to treat their water. We used chemicals and supplies found in markets to clear and clean their water to make it safe for drinking. They now sell it to their community for an affordable price and use their profits to continue treating water for many years to come.

My goals were to build upon my experiences from Saha last year and really delve into my work and the culture. Without the culture shock I experienced last year, I felt like I was really on top of everything I did this year. I learned a great deal about how to interact in a similar setting with very different people, and lead my group in a way that was collaborative and effective. This trip I was really able to focus on the nuances of the culture around me and the different power dynamics that existed. As an anthropology minor who took an African anthropology class this past year, it was really cool to use my new analytical lenses in real life. I was also able to use the critical thinking skills I’ve gained at Middlebury through group projects to solve problems.

 

 

For more information and photos from my trip, please visit my Facebook page: facebook.com/lexiegoestoghana and my blog: http://lexiegoestoghana.wordpress.com