Think Creative Spring 2022

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walk this way A day in the life of a Creative team member

Lukman Imoro Ghana Upper East Field Monitor, USAID/OTI Littorals Regional Initiative (LRI)

Before becoming a field monitor with the Littorals Regional Initiative in 2021, I was a teacher and a farmer. I spent my weekdays tutoring teenagers on social studies, religion and moral education, and my weekends on my farm, harvesting crops that feed my family and selling the excess. Taking on the role of a field monitor for the project was not entirely new, because I was accustomed to interacting with residents in my community and surrounding towns in Ghana’s Upper East region. It was, however, a different kind of engagement.

trust of informants and officials, and how to be discrete in my work. I then verify all the information received to ensure the team doesn’t fall victim to fake news. But it hasn’t all been gunshots and drama. My job as a field monitor also involves monitoring activities implemented in my region. The BawkuMunicipality is a beneficiary of our project’s intervention, and youth from different ethnic groups and political parties were trained to promote peace, mutual trust, and co existence with the goal of preventing violent extremism. It was a first for me

Busunu town locals during our meeting to discuss the mediation committee. Busunu community, Savannah region, northern Ghana.

Young people, who without LRI’s training may have been at the forefront of the conflict, are instead preaching peace and tolerance.” “

While conversations and interactions in the past centered on the weather, gossip and mentorship of my students, discussions now are more complex and focus on regional political, social, and security issues. In November 2021 after almost a decade of peace, an interethnic, chieftainship conflict erupted in Bawku, where I live and work. Gathering atmospherics in a “war zone” is a challenging experience. Gunshots can be heard almost daily, and residents are cautious with whom they share information. I have quickly learned the art of building and maintaining the

to witness these young people, who without such training may have been at the forefront of the conflict, are instead preaching peace and tolerance. With tensions gradually calming in Bawku and surrounding towns, two of my ideas on how to keep the peace and reduce inroads for infiltration by violent extremist organizations are under implementation. As I monitor the rollout of these initiatives and feed the teamwith atmospheric updates, I keep an eye open to spot new opportunities to ensure long-lasting peace in Bawku and neighboring towns in the Upper East region of Ghana. n

Instructors learn new teaching techniques such as how to design more interactive lessons to improve students’ engagement.

Members of the Azinbalim youth discuss regional issues at a recent meeting.

Photos provided by AtiewinMbillah-Lawson

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