Warm greetings from the SELL Resource Team Ghana. So soon the year 2021 is about halfway through the second month and has afforded the opportunity to reflect on the past year (2020).As it is, a new year is always special to all; it offers opportunity for renewed hope and fresh beginnings.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all facets of human engagement in the universe and we on the SELL Programme Ghana are no exception. We are grateful to God for his guidance and protection throughout the past year. We extend our sympathies to all who lost their loved ones, family and friends because of the deadly virus. May God comfort you.
The SELL family here in Ghana deeply appreciate the great efforts of our our benefactors, partners and volunteers for their immeasurable support in helping us carry out our activities in the midst of the pandemic.
It is a new year and Covid-19 is still with us, but we remain hopeful of advancing our work which continues to benefit young adults of diverse background. We however cannot afford to be complacent regarding the strict adherence to safety protocols.
Let us continue to join hands and heart and pull through these difficult times together. Ubuntu (we are because you are)! We are in this together and these difficult moments shall pass.
Thank you for your support in various ways in 2020. We look forward to a successful 2021 together. Namaste!
Executive Team Leader
SELL BEGINS NEW YEAR WITH A RETREAT
For solitude, prayer and reflection – a retreat was organized for the resource room team members including three (3) new recruits.
The retreat which took place on the 10th to 14th January, 2021 at the Centre for Spiritual Renewal in Kumasi was on the theme: “Spiritual Awakening in your personal journey.”
Retreat director, Rev. Fr. Peter Laast guided team members through various spiritual sessions including, conference sharing and desert experience. Members also took part in the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Members had the opportunity to get inspired for fruitful spiritual repose. Fr. Laast said the key words in spiritual awakening were faithfulness and availability. He emphasized on the need to find God in all things.
Laced with sharing from the Holy Bible, Fr. Laast said one’s faithfulness, availability and loyalty should transcend one’s behaviours, preferences and convictions.
Inspired by the Gospel of Matthew (chapter 18), each team member shared a reflection on humility, caring and sharing, responsibility, fraternal correction, efficacy of prayer and forgiveness. The purpose of the inspiration was for members to see the team as a kingdom community and its importance in the field of work.
The retreat ended successfully with team members spiritually renewed.
The retreat is an annual programme and is in line with SELL’s working culture.
Mentoring workshops were held in Wa and Tumu communities respectively in the Upper West Region.
The two (2) separate workshops took place on Jan. 22-23 and focused on the Peace Building unit of the SELL Programme.
Vincent Agyei visited the Wa community where five (5) volunteer facilitators steered the workshop. In Tumu, Hagar Bebuur and Naomi Atintonu were there and ably supported three (3) of our volunteer facilitators who led the workshop.
Twenty-five (25) participants were present in Tumu. Participants enjoyed the experience of sharing and learning.
SELL HOLDS TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR NEW FACILITATORS IN YENDI
The Sharing Education and Learning for Life (SELL) Programme, Ghana has held a training workshop for new volunteer facilitators in Yendi, Northern Region.
The workshop which took place on February 3-7, 2021 at the St. Martin's Pastoral Centre, brought together young adults from various parishes and some representatives from the Muslim community.
The 5-day interfaith programme focused on the Self Awareness unit of the SELL Programme. The workshop preceded a selection workshop process held last year.
Facilitators of the SELL Resource Room introduced participants to various facets of the unit. Held in open and group sessions, it afforded participants the opportunity to learn practical processes to enable them carry out similar workshops in their respective communities in the Yendi zone.
The participants thoroughly engaged facilitators on wide ranging issues on Self Awareness and tapped into ideas that will enhance their ability to share meaningfully on other young adults.
Alhassan Sayibu – one of the representatives of the Muslim community – said, “SELL as a programme, personally I will say is good and every youth should be part of it. This is my second appearance and I have been able to learn a lot. I have shared with my friends my experiences; my past and present.”
Alhassan, a teacher by profession said he was particularly touched by one of the sessions during the programme – Johari’s Window. “It gave me an in-depth knowledge of myself”, he added. He expressed his appreciation to SELL for giving him the opportunity to participate in the programme.
The Johari’s Window was designed by Joe Luft and Harry Ingham. It is an image used to look at the human person with a view to growing in self-knowledge and in the ability to relate to others.
There are six (6) units of the SELL Programme and some auxiliary units. It takes three (3) years to complete the entire units of the programme. A volunteer is awarded facilitator's and participation certificates upon completion of all units and then fully commissioned. Only a participation certificate is awarded for completing at least four (4) units of the programme. In all, forty (42) volunteer facilitators were trained.
The newly-trained facilitators committed themselves to all the processes and the programme, and have been provided with the needed logistics to enable them carry out various tasks.
The Bishop of Yendi, Most Rev. Vincent Sowah Boi-Nai on the day of climax (Sunday, Feb.7) celebrated a thanksgiving Holy Mass for SELL and the newly-trained volunteer facilitators, following the successful training workshop in his diocese.
Bishop Boi-Nai was full of joy and thanked the SELL Team for holding the programme in the area. He appealed to SELL to always consider his diocese first when implementing programmes.
He entreated the newly-trained to make good use of the knowledge and skills acquired by reaching out to other young adults in the area and impart what they have learned.
The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has partnered Sharing Education and Learning for Life (SELL) to organize a Rising from Resilient Roots (RRR) trainers of trainers workshop.
RRR programme is part of a Sahel Peace Initiative (SPI) project of the CRS aimed at trauma healing for young adults and creating awareness to ensure biases are eliminated among the youth in society.
The 3-day workshop took place on Feb. 12-14 at the Global Dream Hotel in Tamale. It brought together participants from the five (5) dioceses in the northern province. A young adult from the Muslim community fully participated in the training workshop as part of the contingent from the Yendi diocese.
The workshop was aimed at equipping the prospective trainers with the required capacity to enable them roll out the programme in their respective communities this year.
SELL is a key partner in the implementation of the programme.
RRR HELD IN DAMONGO
A Rising from Resilient Roots (RRR) training workshop has taken place in the Damongo zone.
The RRR programme is a component of the Sahel Peace Initiative (SPI) implemented by the Catholic Relief Services in five (5) countries (i.e Niger, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali) to raise awareness of the conflict crisis in the Sahel region, advocate for change, and mobilize humanitarian and development actions to save lives in some of those countries.
In Ghana, the SPI project is been implemented in the five (5) regions of Northern Ghana and has the Sharing Education and Learning for Life (SELL) Programme Ghana, as partner-implementers.
The RRR programme is to help young adults find internal balance, strengthen their identity and learn new coping skills in order to increase hope and well-being in themselves and their communities.
About forty (40) participants, drawn from various faith groups and organizations gathered at the Center for Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies in the Savannah Regional capital, February 19-21, for the training workshop.
They explored various activities including: Change the Channel, Grounding Exercise, Tree of Life, among others, aimed at helping them to learn ways of gaining inner healing that can transform their immediate surroundings, communities and societies. It also taught them about their strengths so as to be more confident and powerful.
Participants shared in diverse ways on how to develop a positive view of themselves and to build hope for the future, based on their skills, achievements and what they have learned from their lives so far, despite its difficulties and disappointments.
The young adults were also given the opportunity to envision peace in their communities and the important role they can play to ensure peace reigns in where they live and beyond.
The goal of the programme is to let participants feel internal resilience and contribute meaningfully to positive change in their families and communities.
MENTORING TRAINING HELD IN WA
A maiden mentoring training has taken place for some selected volunteer facilitators in the Wa zone, Upper West Region.
The workshop which took place at the Wanye Spiritual Center – a suburb of Wa - was to equip them with the skills required to carry out mentoring as support persons in their respective communities.
Held from February 19-21, participants freely shared their own vision of the SELL Programme. Individually, in groups and plenary sessions – they came up with responses similar with our vision - build communities where all people coexist in harmony and peace with one another, the earth and all her life forms.
In developing their own mission in one of the sessions in groups, participants came up with: to ensure extensive campaign for the awareness of peaceful coexistence of humanity, the earth and all her life forms; building good relationships with all religions to create an enabling environment that allows youth to reach one another; and reaching out to all people of different faith backgrounds to actively participate in SELL programmes by 2030.
They also understood the task they committed themselves to and their roles as support persons working together towards the realization of our vision.
The Assistant Diocesan Youth Chaplain Rev. Fr. Nicodemus Unezume paid a visit to the mentoring training and contributed meaningfully to issues discussed. He assured us of their continuous cooperation and support in achieving our goals.
The training is a continuous process to help the mentors deepen their understanding of SELL as a Programme and a movement for the wider community.