Upcoming events – Not to miss

COMMUNITY INVITATION 2016

The Ghana Union Düsseldorf in collaboration with Ghana Council NRW and Verein Junger-Deutsch-Afrikaner are cordially inviting the community to a special conference on Saturday, 1st October 2016 in Düsseldorf which will be followed by a cultural festival.

The associations mentioned above are platforms used to support and encourage Ghanaians in NRW, especially the youth, on education and socio-economic issues.

The main goal is to support and empower Ghanaians in the diaspora to tackle and find sustainable solutions to social problems. It also aims to aid the Ghanaians, Africans in general with smooth and better integration into NRW while maintaining and sustaining their original cultures.

The focus of this year´s premier inaugural conference and festival is to encourage and engage the youth in activities that would lead to growth and better integration of the African diaspora a particularly in NRW.

Your active participation will be hugely appreciated as it would help to create and promote more awareness.

The day is fully planned out, ranging from dialogues between attorneys and youths, to rich cultural displays, open discussions, music, food and dance.

All members of German NRW community as well people from diverse nations and cultures are welcomed so feel free to come to support and participate in the development and strengthening of the network of the African diaspora in NRW.

Links: http://www.vjda.de/, https://www.eine-welt-netz-nrw.de/seiten/528/, https://ghanaforumnrw.wordpress.com/, http://ghanacouncilnrw.wix.com/04, http://ugag-1.de/AboutUgag/

DUS: Ghana Grill Party In The Park

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The first ever organized Open Grill Fest in the Heerdter Freizeitpark in Düsseldorf was a major success. The party was live yesterday. People attended in numbers, the weather was nice, the music was good and the atmosphere just amazing. Positive vibes with many children bouncing to afrobeats and challenging their dancing skills in a cypher. Since the event was organized quite “last minute” the advert about it was minor, as the amount of Ghanaians living in Düsseldorf and cities around, could have filled the place twice or triple times more. But so far so good, as this had taken place the first time ever, the results are encouraging for the organisers to make this happen on a regular basis. Ghanaians love dress codes for no reason I can give, but it was good to see the majority reppin´ the white on jeans look.

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It is always good to have the community together, having good times. Events like this can be seen as an opportunity in the future, to raise awareness on certain problems that affect the African diaspora in Germany – which in that sense can be targeting the Ghanaian community first. Instead of making the big fuss about development policy issues and the wellbeing in all senses, Ghanaians love to party and party hard, too much at times. I am not judging or condemning it, as I am a typical Ghanaian who loves “enije” (good/fun times) too, but there is so much more potential, which can be used to pave the way for the second generation.

One minor example out of many – it is a struggle to find participant, who are actually in need of learning the German language, in order to manage their life without depending on the help of others, but wherever there is a community based party – all problems are put aside and celebrated “small, small”. Number wise in 2009, there are about 40.000 Ghanaians documented, for living in Germany, which builds the largest migration group of Subsaharan-Africans, followed by Nigerians and Cameroonians. Now in year 2015, we are surely more people to make that last availabe statistic irrelevant. So, with more people “on board” now, I think it is highly about time to put us on the map properly with bigger and greater achievements in our personal developments or as a collective – just for example; instead of going down at all parties advertised.

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Ghanaian architect

Young black men out there: be inspired and encouraged to achieve your dreams!

British Ghanaian architect David Adjaye received the title of OBE (Order of the British Empire) from the Queen for services to British architecture. Also, he currently holds a Visiting Professor post at Princeton University.

Adjaye´s work spans exhibitions, private homes and artist collaborations.

Just to list a few of his buildings:

–          home for the designer Alexander McQueen

–          The Upper Room for Tate Britan Museum

–          Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver

–          the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo

–          National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington

THERE IS SURELY NO JUJU (BLACK MAGIC) BEHIND HIS ACHIEVEMENTS. YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

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Why I love(d) Volunteering

Vounteering shouldn´t be seen as a solution to a problem but as an opportunity to give your time, energy and experience to help something to happen that you think is important to gain valuable knowledge, experience and skills. If lucky, you will be able to do both.

The question that you should be asking yourself at first would be that: Do you want to learn new skills? Do you want to support a local, national or global cause? Do you want to learn more about a particular area of work? You need to think about what you can offer to the organization and what they will be able to offer you in return.

Part of the huge value of volunteering is it can help you gain skills and experience. Doing things that you didn´t expect to be doing when you started to volunteer.

A good volunteer experience is one where you are needed and given opportunity to grow and develop in your role. I had amazing opportunities to volunteer for and I appreciate the experience I gained and I do not regret the time I investing into free work.

However, there is time and space for all and certainly living in London city, affording all life expenses by yourself, you will surely come to the same conclusion like me to put a hold to free work. I believe that volunteering only works for a period of time but has a limit.

The risk of having an unstable financial support is too high and not worth it living in this expensive city. It is just not right to expect too much of volunteers considering the fact that it is for free. What is free in life today? Freedom. Yes. Willpower. Yes. Peace. Yes. But volunteering without a financial stability is certainly not fun enough after a period of time. Enough is enough.

What´s next? Africa or Europe?

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The reputation of the education system in the United Kingdom attracts students from all over the world. Universities provide internationally recognised qualifications of the highest standard. Every year thousands of Africans gain admission and graduate at various universities in the UK. Scholarships are being offered and universities are constantly updating their courses. International students form a part of representing the British cross-cultural society.

As African students of Middlesex University being interviewed by me, they will share their view on the next career step as African graduate.

What´s next?

Marie: “In Europe, I have an advantage and benefit more with my qualification as biomedical scientist. Compare to my hometown, studying in Europe will give me the advantage to investigate the causes of illness before it actually breaks out. Although in Nigeria, they mostly start the curing process whilst the illness has almost progressed. So, if I relocate it does not necessarily have to be Nigeria or Africa, as I have my doubts about relocating. I think that in Nigeria I wouldn´t be paid well, since the importance of my degree might be estimated.”

Sharonnita: “I am planning of moving to Ghana after continuing with Masters in Marketing and Management. I think Ghana is the place to be, since I know that Africans in general are more fearful about their diaspora graduating in the Europe. I can develop personally and have a bright future, because there is an advantage of moving to Ghana by a young age. My concern about the healthcare service, regarding the road and its science; is one of the reasons that draws my attention on the importance of returning students. It would be sad to witness an epidemical brain drain of Ghana, West Africa and the whole continent.” there is a danger of an African “brain drain”, since too many students stay in the UK or USA. Looking at the impact on the decision to stay, depends on the payment.

Princess: “My aim is to start a career firstly in London. I am undertaking a Bachelor degree in Hospitality and Tourism. I was born in Ghana and raised in London. My first choice, when moving away would be Ghana. It is quite easy for an African student graduated in Europe, to adapt it and make use of the more diversed mentality. Ghana needs people with fresh ideas and I firmly believe to achieve a lot myself as to the extent that the country benefits as well.”

Marie J.:“I will surely continue my masters in the UK and live here for 5 years. Settling in Gambia would provide me with a better quality of life. I appreciate and look out for being part of it. The economy in Gambia is bad, so I think I could establish my career as marketing and communication expert in Gambia.

Oguntimehin: “I would be most likely to go back, since I am aware of having a better chance with my degree as business information system manager in Nigeria. The way how it is being taught in Nigeria is not comparable to the UK. The IT industry is smaller compare to the UK. The payment in Nigeria is good, because the companies are assure of financial issues. I am confident to return back, because I can help my hometown to gain other educational skills to improve the teaching system and contribute with the growth of the IT industry.