“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in”.
Here at EduSpots, we have a rich variety of talent in our volunteer pool who are creating utopic communities and until you interact with them, they would remain a mystery. For the purpose of this post, I recently engaged Douglas Adu- Nyantakyi and Hamdiyatu Tunteeya Sadik, our winners of the Volunteer of the Month of March award and they had a lot to share about themselves.
Here’s our conversation!:
What is your full name?
Hamdiyatu (H) : I’m Hamdiyatu Tunteeya Sadik
Douglas (D) : and I’m Douglas Adu-Nyantakyi
Tell us a little about your background. How did you grow up. What was your experience with education?
H: I was born in Tamale, the capital of the Northern region of Ghana. I’m the firstborn of four siblings. I had both primary and basic education at Blessed Hope Educational Complex, proceeded to Sacred Heart School in Sunyani for my senior high school education and I am currently a final year student of the Social Change Communication program at the University for Development studies.
D: I was born in Kumasi, in the Ashanti region of Ghana and raised in low-class community called Akwatialine. I stayed with my grandma at my hometown, Ahenkro for some years due to a broken home (divorce) and returned to Kumasi at age 10. I attended Ahenkro L/A Primary and St. Cyprian’s primary school/ JHS in Kumasi , and was a science student at Anglican Senior high school in Kumasi. I hold an HND in Mechanical Engineering from Kumasi Polytechnic University(now Kumasi Technical University) and a certificate and Degree in Education as well as a masters in Technology Education at the University of Education, Winneba.
What do you do?
D:I am a full time teacher. I teach Science and Mathematics and double as Head teacher for the Dichemso M/A Junior High School.
H: and I am a student, mentor for the strategic Action for Girls Education (SAGE) for school for life Ghana, as well as a volunteer and peer Mentor for the Ignite Edulit program.
How did you hear about EduSpots and what inspired you to join/collaborate with EduSpots?
H: I heard of EduSpots from a previous volunteer at the Kalpohin Spot and through social media(Facebook ) I saw the impact these libraries were creating in communities. I got inspired by the EduSpots concept/approach to community development. Growing up, the only library we had was from our school and was closed after school, thus we used the after school hours to play and do other unimportant stuff but getting to know how EduSpots operates by making the library accessible to everyone in the community during and after school and sometimes at night, I realised we missed out on a lot when we were younger. With EduSpots, even those who don’t have the chance to be in school are being assisted to learn in these libraries. I was happy to volunteer and add up my knowledge for education development in my community.
D: I heard about EduSpots through a Lead for Ghana volunteer, Lawrence, who asked permission from me so he could liaise with EduSpots to upgrade our school library and stock it with books. I agreed willingly. Anything that seems to improve pupils academic performance, I am for it.
images of Hamdiyatu leading literacy sessions at Kalpohin Spot
Was it your dream to be in education? Or something else led to it?
D: Truthfully, no, because there’s not much money in education. I wanted to dodge but God had a different plan. I should have listened earlier.
H: It wasn’t entirely a dream to be in education but I must say, I’m passionate about general societal development.
I got more intrigued about education considering my experience as a student teacher in a community school.
Even though Ghana has made progress in improving access to education for all, there are still challenges preventing thousands of children from going to school in communities. Classes are overcrowded, inadequate and trained teachers and school books are in short supply. The poor quality of education is reflected in results of the children in the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) and the children living with disabilities face even more challenges. That’s when I got passionate for excellent education for all children.
What do you do when you are free?
H: I watch movies or read novels.
D: Free time? Where? (laughs). Well, it’s rare but when I get some free time, I engage others in intellectual discourse on topics like politics , sports, religion, or sometimes I engage my kids. Honestly, when I cast my mind back, I have not really had free times because before I became a Head teacher I was part-time taxi driver.
Describe yourself in three words
H: insightful, proactive and reliable
D: I don’t know how I am. People say I am resourceful, selfless, hard working. People also say I am a bit controversial but that’s usually because I don’t want to be cheated.
images of Dichemso M/A JHS winning the circuit boys’ football gala|(left), a Spot member adjudged “best player of the tournament” (middle) and Spot users richly garbed in traditional Ghanaian attires for the Independence Day celebration(right).
What’s your philosophy of life?
H: My philosophy in life is simple ‘ I dare to be my self’
D: I don’t really have one.
What drives/ motivates you?
H: My passion to do things keeps me motivated.
D: Nothing motivates me except to see that I have life. When I wake up and I have life, it motivates me that t here is a new task to accomplish.
Mention one fun fact about you
H: Fun fact about me, I want to go to Zanzibar but not with my money. (laughs)
D: hehehe. Honestly, none I can remember at the moment.
H: My future aspiration is to become a development Journalist.
D:Mine, is to be a lecturer to contribute to the body of knowledge by leaving educational philosophy for my immediate environment, or mankind
Give a general overview of your Spot and the activities you do.
D:Dichemso Spot called Literacy Club has the founders to be Mr Lawrence Boakye Dankwah and Florence Esi Amponsah in 2021?.
We meet twice a week, Wednesday or Friday afternoon and Saturday morning between 10am to 12:00 noon. Currently we have two volunteers (undergoing training) and myself. As school based spot we have beautifully decorated library that is to serve two other schools in the cluster and hope to expand when we have enough stock. EcoSTEM and Edulit activities/challenges are mostly on Saturdays. We spearhead all co- curricular activities like quiz, talk shows(by guest), talent explosions etc. in the school.
H: I’m a volunteer at the Kalpohin spot. The library is usually opened everyday but we have our club meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays that is Edulit and EcoSTEM respectively. I am more aligned with the Edulit. We do monthly challenges, we build upon reading and comprehension skills of children as well as public speaking and writing skills, we also have so much fun at the library. Also, we have a word bag at the library. Every student is encouraged to learn at least a new word and drop it in the word bag for all others to benefit.
What do you love about your Spot?
D:When I see the enthusiasm and eagerness of the students to learn I smile within me and it drives me to support them.
H: What I love about my Spot is the collaborative nature of the students and their eagerness to learn. This always keeps me motivated to show up and be there at the Spot and for the kids.
Thank you Douglas and Hamdiyatu for sharing your time and stories with us. It’s been a nice time getting to know you. Keep doing the awesome work you do to support EduSpots!
Congratulations once again on emerging Volunteers of the Month (March), we really appreciate you and you truly deserve your flowers…
Douglas with Dichemso M/A JHS 2022 BECE candidates (left) and Hamdiyatu leading a girls empowerment session at Kalpohin Spot (right).
If you have an questions for Douglas and Hamdiyatu, please share them in the comments below.