Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Future Leaders Newsletter June - August 2012

If you'd like to know a bit about what the UCC got up to this Summer then check out our Newsletter for June - August. If you click on the pictures then they will open up bigger for you to read. 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

What one of our volunteers had to say

This lovely appraisal featured on the back of one of our recent (anonymous) evaluation forms. We have a good idea who wrote it though, so without mentioning any names, Thank You! and we miss you loads :)

"A friend and I spent a month at the UCC and we were made to feel at home immediately after being greeted by Laura at the airport, and were made to feel at home for the entire duration of our stay. Laura [Volunteer Coordinator], Brendan [Project Manager], Kirstie [Education Coordinator] and Bernard [our cook] were brilliant - it is clear that everyone involved with the project cares deeply for the children. To be part of such a wonderful group of people, doing such good things was an honour.

The children who live at the centre (Abu, Juliana, Asana etc.) are all beautiful children and made our time in Ghana even more special. Teaching the children every day at the school was tough at times, but incredibly rewarding. To see so many children so happy and enjoying being at school every day is an absolute pleasure. The kids asked for homework and would come running up to us the next day to show us their work. To see the progression of the kids, be it small or significant, was most rewarding. 

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the UCC to others. The people, attitude and ethos of the UCC is remarkable and I shall leave it with fond memories to last me a lifetime."

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

You make a life by what you give

The Olympics: acrostic poems from Class 2

A few weeks ago, as the Olympics kicked off in London, volunteer Jess worked with the students in Class 2  to produce some acrostic poems based on an Olympic theme. The class worked together to come up with a word or phrase for each of the letters in the word 'Olympics' and then worked individually to illustrate the ideas. Pictured below is the work of Sandra and Delali. 

Old game
You compete
I will win!

Peter: from mango tree to Moscow

Assistant Captain Peter
(left) in 2004 
We had a visit today from Peter, a Ghanaian lad who is leaving in two weeks to study medicine in Russia. Peter (soon to be Pyotr) started playing football with the Future Stars teams at the end of the 90's and went to study with Billa under the second mango tree.

Peter today
Peter started out his education in state primary school. "It was a little bit difficult as my dad wasn't well", he explained. Peter's father was an alcoholic and, unable to pay for school fees, Peter dropped out of school. "I found out [about Billa's free school] through my coach." 

"Billa took school seriously and he didn't leave us; he kept us [paying for fees] through JHS - my mum couldn't do that alone."

Peter leaves in two weeks to begin his studies at Tambov State University, one of the best medical institutions in Russia. He hopes to become a surgeon in the future and plans to return to Ghana to begin practise. Billa and Future Leaders are very proud of Peter and we wish him the very best of luck!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Future Leaders Meme

Thanks to volunteers Abigail and Anna, we now have some pretty awesome memes for you to flood the internet with. If you want to share it on Facebook you can find the original post here.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Cooking with Bernard: Part 2

"From my experience, cooking is just making your own thing." 

That's the advice of Bernard, the Future Leaders cook. It's volunteer Marie's last day today and she requested some cooking lessons with him so that she can prepare Ghanaian dishes for friends back home in Belgium. It's Bernard's birthday as well so we are cooking enough for some of his friends who are coming over.

Marie is learning how to make kelewele, jolof rice and egg stew, all Ghanian dishes that our volunteers love. You can make them too; they are all very simple to make and use ingredients you can easily find at home. 

We usually have jolof with chicken and coleslaw as an evening meal, egg stew alone as lunch and kelewele as a snack. Kelewele also goes well with red sauce (you can find the recipe for that here).

Jolof rice and egg stew sauce all start from the same beginnings . . .

Ingredients (for 6)
1 onion, chopped
2 huge serving spoons tomato paste
bay leaf
mixed herbs
vegetable or palm oil for frying

Fry onion in lots of oil
Add tomato paste and a little water and mix well
Continue to stir over a flame until the tomato paste starts to brown
Add a couple of pinches of salt, rosemary, lots of mixed herbs and a bay leaf

To make jolof rice:
Add enough water to the sauce to cook enough rice for 6 people
Cover and leave for the rice to cook

To make egg stew:
Add 6 beaten eggs to the sauce, mix well and leave for a couple of minutes to cook
Cook enough pasta for 6, then mix with the sauce

Kelewele (fried plantain chunks)

Ingredients (for 6)
6 ripe plantains
4 cloves garlic
2 onions
5 inches ginger root
4 fresh chilli peppers with seeds
vegetable or palm oil for frying

How much ginger and chilli you use depends on how hot you like it - this is how Bernard makes it. It's the same with the salt, Bernard uses a pinch per person but you could use less, or add it at the end. You could also add dessicated coconut, cinnamon, lemon juice to the blended mix - whatever takes your fancy.

Cut plantain in half long-ways, and then in to small chunks
Blend the ginger, chilli, garlic and onion with a splash of water in to a smooth paste
Mix the plantain and the paste with salt and leave for 20 mins
Deep fry the plantain in oil, then drain and serve hot