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Winrock International

Volunteer Post

My Experience As National Volunteer in Ghana: Farmer – to- Farmer

We asked Ghanaian National volunteer to share details about his recent paired volunteer experience with Farmer-to-Farmer

David Darkoh

  • What was the best part about contributing to Farmer-to-Farmer as a national volunteer in Ghana

Having a Farmer-to-Farmer national volunteer in Ghana is a very innovative approach that enables us to use our professional experience to practically support the host to improve on what they are doing and their livelihoods.

In my assignment as a national volunteer, I was able to communicate in the local languages that made them fully understand the training. The trainees were also able to ask many questions to clarify their understanding because all the participants could speak the local language which avoided the communication gap that happens when translation had to be done.

I used local examples and illustrations that they knew and made it very practical to the extent of bringing pineapple fruits to the training classroom to demonstrate to them and also giving the opportunity to do it themselves that made the training easier to understand.

The host and farmers bonded easily and had a high level of trust and confidence with me so they shared in depth experiences with me that helped me to gain more insight into their challenges and made me adapt the training to address their needs.

After the training sessions, the host and cooperative members felt that they have benefited a lot because the training was done in their local language, was very practical, hands on and full of comprehension.

Farmers on farm tour with Winrock
  • What was the best part about working with a remote US based volunteer

Working with a US based volunteer gives you the opportunity to work as a team and each professional brings his/her experience to bear. Also, gives the opportunity to blend these experiences to support the host to improve in the way they do things.

Further, the team work and writing the end of assignment together helped each volunteer to learn from each other also improve his/her professional experience.

  • What did you learn/were there any cultural exchanges

The assignment further improves working relationship in a multicultural environment.

David during the training sessions
  • What lasting impact did this have on you

I have done some volunteer assignments alone in the past, and this was the first time for me to work on an assignment with a US Volunteer. This assignment helped me to gain some insights into the professional way of handling some technical issues in the US.

I also saw the responses from the host and cooperative members who felt greater impact of the Farmer to Farmer volunteer assignment will be done if national professionals are given opportunity to offer their professional experience and expertise to support host organizations.