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An Introduction to Kokrobite Village (Our Home)

By Sam - Project Coordinator 4 months ago

Thinking about volunteering in Ghana? Venturing to West Africa for the
first time? How about getting to know the community which surrounds
GVI’s base? You never know, you might even be calling it home for a
few months!

Kokrobite is a moderate sized fishing village on the far western edge
of Ghana’s capital region, Greater Accra. Despite being referred to as
a ‘village’, this community is now effectively connected
to the main city by urban sprawl, making the hour-long airport journey
a ride through continuously connected towns and neighborhoods. None
the less, Kokrobite has completely retained its small community
feeling and lifestyle, there are certainly no out of the out-of-town
suburban developments and the attitudes of the residents are very much
that of communal village living instead of the urban dwellers further
east.

Traditionally the village has lived on the yields of the ocean, yet
has Ghana has developed, these yields are increasingly coming from
tourism instead of fishing. Ghanaians will travel from all over the
country to visit the vast coconut lined beaches, which are also
attracting a steady trade from foreign travelers too. The visitors
give Kokrobite a big reputation despite its relative obscurity and
small size. Today, the village’s position means that the wealthy and
working peoples coexist together, the rural straddles the urban,
American SUV’s drive past breeze blocked and corrugated homes, what
could be more representative of developing West Africa? To the east
lies the hustle and bustle of central Accra, to the west the colonial
coastline of the central region, to the north the lake land and peaks
of the Volta valley, and beyond that, the wild Savanah. Intrigued?
Lets take a further look…

Trade

The heart of Kokrobite is the high street. Store after store lines the
sandy roadside where shopkeepers and traders peddle provisions,
fashion, tech and cosmetics. Don’t worry, this isn’t some tourist
market, these shops are selling products for the locals, so a
wander down the street will let you see how the people of this
community really live and work. In fact, many of the locals you will
be volunteering with will make a living from this roadside, pushing
their wares and produce from a littering of converted cargo containers
which work as the walls and roofs of various store fronts. Be sure to
pick up your lunch from one of the Fufu pounders, try some roasted
plantain dishes from the barbeque stands or even commission a unique
dress from a local seamstress.

Faith

Belief in god holds strong over the Ghanaian people and the vast
majority of Kokrobite will devotedly attend a place of worship, of
which there are plenty to choose from. So yes, expect to hear 5am Fajr
prayers echo across the pre-dawn sky and the gospel of numerous
different Christian denominations flow over an afternoon breeze.
Ghanaians truly believe in religious tolerance so don’t be surprised
to see churches and mosques which quite literally share the same walls
and foundations. The buildings themselves are often unassuming, there
are no golden domes or towering spires, for that matter there will
occasionally not even be walls or windows, yet come their respective
days, you can witness each of these holy places crowed with masses
lost in devotional hymns or prayer.

Fishing

The heritage of this costal town is in ocean fishing. A fleet of
brightly painted boats, each hand carved from the trunks of enormous
rainforest trees, lie tethered above the beach line to be released
each night and return come sun rise with the days catch. Looking out
to sea on an evening and you will bear witness to the small specks of
floating light in the far darkness of the horizon. Each is one of
boat’s fires giving light to the work of the men of the village as
they haul their fish.

Fishing is a family business around these parts. The husbands will
return from sea and pass the catch onto their wives who will in turn
smoke the fish on layered stacking racks above charcoal fire pits or
prepare the larger catch for sale. The fish are then distributed by
the children or other women folk in the family, in either the
container stores or straight from a head-balanced basket amongst the
busy road markets. Head down to the beach one early morning and you
can watch the men returning to land after a night’s work or even try a
local dish for yourself fresh from a market stall.

Tourism

Kokrobite caters for the tourism from fellow Ghanaians and foreigners
a like. Although it is not all that usual to see foreigners within the
village itself, people are very accustomed and welcoming to their
presence. In fact, a lively tourist industry of bars, restaurants and
hotels has sprung up on a long a popular stretch of beach side. Yet
this is by no means overwhelming, for those who prefer the real
experience West African style, you can quite easily dodge the tourist
spots all together, but anyone who wants the ultimate relaxation will
find a selection of private white sand paradises further up the coast.

So their you have it, a brief introduction to Kokrobite, the place GVI
calls home!

Would you like to volunteer in Ghana? Why not check out our Women’s
empowerment or Early Year development programs. We look forward to
seeing you soon!