It was a wonderful experience going to the Internally Displaced Persons camp with the volunteers of Doctors Health Initiative. It was a two day visit, so we left in the morning on Thursday at about 9:00am to the camp. When we got there we met the person in charge (Pastor Evelyn) and then dispersed with our different teams to begin work.
While I was put in the hospitality team they had other teams such as the educational team, medical team and the editorial team. They worked as their names implies. I left with my team mates to meet the women who we were to teach.
Firstly, we interviewed them for a questionnaire which was meant to help us find out if any vocational training they’ve already received has been effective. When we were done with the questionnaire we started getting set to teach them. Firstly how to mix and fry *puff puff and **chin chin, which we did.While my team mates talked I was taking down the recipes for them so they have a guide to follow when they decide to do it on their own.
The next day which was Friday we had an excursion to the ***Oba of Benin’s palace. Though we didn’t get to meet him it was still a worthwhile trip. We were shown some paintings and historic write ups. after which we headed for the Internally Displaced Persons Camp. When we got there on the second day Pastor Evelyn took us around and showed us were the women and children stay and also the classrooms built by the ex-governor of Edo State Adams Oshiomole….though it hasn’t been commissioned yet.
After that we got to work with our respective teams. My teammates and I taught the women to bake cakes and also gave them a chance to practice it right there – what we had taught them the previous day, that is. So, after we mixed the cake batter and started baking it we selected some women to mix the puff puff and the chin chin which they did really well showing that they actually paid attention to what we had taught. We had to leave early on this particular day so after the cake had baked, they took the puff puff and chin chin mixture home to fry by themselves.We trusted they’ll be able to do it because they were doing so well already and from the look on the faces of the women we could tell they were sincerely happy to have someone teach them things they can do with their hands.
Like I said at the beginning; it was a wonderful experience…from the other volunteers I worked with to the excursion to the women and to the work itself! Everything was a huge success and I’d love to do it again some other time.
Written by Abung Emmanuella
*A Nigerian snack which some may refer to doughnut holes
**A fried Nigerian snack