By Veronica Ampofoah Nanor
Ghana YMCA and cvjm Westbund has been in partnership for over thirty (30) years and the partnership has been one that allows for exchange visits among the partners in every two (2) years. In 2018 the partners from Ghana were scheduled to visit their partners in Germany, a visit that usually last two (2) weeks.
This kind of trips has always been led by a senior staff of Ghana YMCA. In selecting who leads this delegation, the Administrative & Human Resource Coordinator, Mrs. Veronica Ampofoah Nanor was considered. This was because she has personally been involved in the training of the Day Care Centre teachers of Ghana YMCA for 2 years and these Day Care Centres are all projects financed by the CVJM Westbund partners.
The journey started on Friday 7th September 2018.
The first point of call was at the Retchenbach YMCA centre where all participants were welcomed with snacks and lunch. A brief welcome ceremony was organized in our honour and all participants were introduced. At the end of the ceremony all participants were driven to their various homes by their hosts.
Each partner had an itinerary for their Ghanaian counterpart which was followed.
My duty as the leader of delegation was to visit all the participants in their various destinations to know how they were faring.
The first point of call was at CVJM Eidinghausen partners of Koforidua YMCA represented by Daniel Dankwa and Abigail Hammond Ansong. We were taken to the Lord Mayor’s office at Badrinhausen. In discussion with his second in command, Stephane Totemann, he showed us their parliament hall. From there we were taken to the Kurhaus. A big and beautiful part for recovery from sickness.
The next visit was to CVJM Hülscheid-Heedfeld, partners of the Tema YMCA. Joel Arthur, David Boyan, Ebenezer Abayateye and Pauline Bawa were the delegates from Tema. It was on Thursday 13th September 2018 and I visited the EV. Kindergarten Heedfeld. There was a board meeting with their partners where I was invited to speak on behalf of the National Council of Ghana YMCA
The third place of visit was CVJM Büschergrund partners of the Konongo YMCA who invited Clement Appiah, Peter Whyte Kwaning and Gabriel Ofori Appiah. On Friday 14th September 2018, I went with all three participants together with a partner to the Buschergrund Kindergarten where we had a wonderful time with the children introducing some aspects of the African culture, specifically the Ghanaian culture to them.
On Saturday 15th September 2018, the visiting train landed at CVJM Dreis-Tiefenbach partners of the Nnudu YMCA who invited Enock Koranteng and Patrick Asare. We took part in their annual feast where the old and new members of the CVJM meet together.
On the Sunday there was a service at the centre and the Ghanaian participants were fully involved as a Bible passage was read in Twi and benediction was also given in Twi.
The fifth place of visit was the CVJM Hilchenbach, partners of Oda and Mampon YMCA who invited Edmund Kwasi Armah and Anette Okwabiwa Ohene respectively. I joined them at the kirmes festival where they supported their partners to raise funds through the sale of waffles at the festival. In the evening we had a partnership meeting with both delegates.
On Monday 17th September 2018 after the meeting at the Kreishaus, I went to CVJM Frohnhausen, partners of Anfoeta-Tsebi YMCA who invited Agnes Serwa Anyadoe and Micheal Dogba. We visited the Läderach chocolate factory and were taking on a tour at the factory.
The last partner to visit was the CVJM Rechtenbach partners of Kpone-Bawaleshie YMCA who invited Patience Mensah, Emmanuel Abladey and Manasseh First-Okoe. We visited the river Rhine, started on the cable cars, walked through the forest for over an hour after lunch, took the Sesil barn and finally cruzed on the river Rhine in the Rhine Dream. It was an interesting and tiring day as well.
On Wednesday 19th September 2018 all participants and their partners met at CVJM Wuppertal for a final meeting. We had a brief service at which the General Secretary gave a message. Delegates presented in forms of sketches to their German partners, life in the Geman home, Life in a German park and Life in a German YMCA.
Gabriel and I had the opportunity to participate in the CVJM – Westbund annual General Meeting on the following day, where the partnership agreement between Ghana YMCA and CVJM – Westbund has been signed.
On Saturday 22nd September 2018, Gabriel and I met with three (3) former German Interns of the Ghana YMCA. and we discussed the positive changes through local branches in local partnership strengthening in Ghana.
On Sunday 23rd we said our goodbyes to our partners most of whom have become close friends and family due to how we related. Some had to share tears but we had to return home. We all arrived safely to Ghana and our luggage arrived on time too.
As scheduled before the trip, all delegates were to meet in Koforidua for evaluation from 5th to 7th October 2018 again.
We are grateful to God almighty for the gift of life and traveling mercies in the past weeks. We sincerely appreciate our partners so much for the support and love shown us to make this visit a success. We equally thank the Ghana YMCA, our local branch executives and members for granting us the opportunity. We pledge our sincere allegiance to the Ghana YMCA and to our branches for a continuous commitment and dedication. God bless Ghana, God bless CVJM – Westbund and God bless Ghana YMCA.