I am spending my summer interning with the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in Accra, Ghana. During my time at the LRC I have worked on a variety of legal aid and advocacy projects, but my favorite project so far has been working with the Mother’s Club, a group of women devoted to improving the living conditions in their community through healthy sanitation practices.
The members of Mother’s Club live in the Nima-Mamobi area of Accra, one the most impoverished neighborhoods in the city. In the 14 years since its establishment, the Mother’s Club has grown its membership to over 150 women dedicated to educating their community about good sanitation and health practices.
To spread knowledge about these practices, the Mother’s Club holds sanitation workshops at local schools to teach children when and how to effectively wash their hands. Members of the Mother’s Club also go door-to-door teaching community members safe practices for washing and storing dishes and utensils to prevent food-borne illness. Additionally, they visit landlords in the area to instruct them on proper toilet maintenance.
For the first month of my internship, the LRC and its interns helped the Mother’s Club plan and put together a video submission to the Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World competition. To enter the competition, individuals or groups submit a 5-minute video proposing a plan for empowering women and helping to “create a better world of opportunities for women and girls in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.” The person or group behind the winning submission receives $25,000 to implement their idea.
The women of the Mother’s Club have learned how to make soap, but lack the funds to actually do it. We helped them enter the competition with the hope that they can use the prize money to build a permanent structure to operate out of and to purchase supplies for making and selling soap. The Mother’s Club plans to use their new structure and the profits from soap-making to teach girls both sewing and literacy skills so they will stay in school and eventually become self-sufficient.
In our free time, the other interns and I have traveled around Ghana to tour a slave castle, walk across a canopy walk, hike to the top of the tallest waterfall in West Africa, canoe to a stilted village, and lounge on the beautiful beaches. Next up on the agenda: a safari in Mole National Park.
- Maia Levenson, Rising 2L, Public Interest Committee Chair