Presentation Primary School: Trees around our school

A group of students from classes 1-6 from Presentation Primary School learned about the different trees that are found near our school. Our teacher David was telling us about the uses that these trees have.

The trees that we talked about were: Jatropha, Mahogany, Fig tree, Shea tree, Neem, Dawadawa. Red and yellow berry trees.

Jatropha is a plant that can be used to produce oil. Mahogony tree has very hard and beautiful wood and therefore is used for carpentry, but besides that it also has medicinal value in easing stomach pains. Neem tree is also used as medicine to lower fevers. Dawadawa tree fruits are very nutritious and we use it in many dishes (like soups, stews and rice dishes).

After seeing all the trees we went to the library and everybody chose one tree to draw. We made picture of the trees and wrote uses of them next to our drawings.

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Zopeliga Primary school preparing beans

On December 2nd 2015 Zopeliga Primary School teachers along with form 5 and 6 students organized a food day at their school. They prepared two foods: ngbegira (beans cakes) and tentaareh (chips from beans flour).

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Zopeliga Primary School students who volunteered for the project, classes 5 and 6

The first dish was Ngebegira. The ingredients needed to prepare this dish were the following: cowbeans (soaked overnight), water, sheabutter, onions, saltbitter and pepper.

The soaked beans were ground and then saltbitter was added to it. The children rolled small cakes out of the dough and put them to cook on clean grass on top of  boiling water. The cooking took place over hot steam for about 20 minutes.

Until the cakes were cooking, the students prepared the sauce: melted and heated sheabutter mixed with small slices of onion. The natural taste of sheabutter and onion did not need any other spices added to it.

Once the cakes and the sauce was ready the cake should be dipped into additional pepper (if needed, spices up the taste) and the sauce and it is ready for savoring!

Take a loot at the whole process explained by Zopeliga’s students.

Before the students started the second dish we had a nice talk about food: the students introduced themselves, explained who cooks at home, what they like to eat in general. The discussion was interesting and took place outdoors, hence you can hear the Harmattan winds blowing and how the nature has tried up.

The second dish, tentaareh was unfamiliar for many teachers too, the dish originally comes from Zuarungu area between Kongo village and Bolgatanga town. For this food the students used ready made beans flour that they mixed with salt and water. The paste was smeared on a  then placed again inside a pot with clean grass and boiling water. The cooking process was similar to ngbegira, they used hot steam, but the cooking was a lot faster. The cooked dish was then scraped from the walls of the calabash with a spoon and could be eaten as a side dish for dinner or as lunch.

The Zopeliga cooking event was as success not only because the students could show their skills and teach them to the Estonian volunteer who could then in return try to prepare it at home with Estonian students, but local teachers also learned more about their own culture. Both teacher Alice and Mary were positively surprised and wanted to cook it also for their own children.

 

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Zopeliga Primary School: headteacher Martin (third from left) with teachers Mary, Rafiatu, Alice, Bawa and Alex

Cultural Identity – A Project Day in Paldiski schools

The town of Paldiski is located on the shore of the Paldiski Bay, some 50 km from Tallinn. Convenient geographical location, an excellent place for landing, short ice period – all of this attracted people to settle near the local harbour. There have been educational institutions in our town from the year 1770 to the present day. Today, there are two schools at our schoolhouse – Paldiski Basic School and Paldiski Gymnasium. Paldiski is a bilingual town.

The school’s objectives are updated annually – this year, we wanted to introduce different nations and their culture to our students. Because of this, on 6 November 2015, we arranged the project day ’Cultural Identity’ for classes 5 through 12. The purpose of this day was creation and shaping of positive attitudes towards different cultures and people, development of tolerance, and prevention of biased attitudes. The importance of cultural diversity as means for mutual enrichment of cultures was also emphasized. The pupils had a chance of reflecting about their own cultural identity.

On the project date, the pupils were arranged an out-of-the-ordinary, less structured study day at school. We invited guest lecturers from MTÜ Mondo, Estonian Refugee Council, and the Estonian Association of Gestalt Therapy. The pupils met foreign students from Albania and Turkey, who currently study in Tallinn. We played board games providing information on different countries of the world. There was a comic workshop with interesting group assignments and discussions on difference and similarity.

For the elementary school pupils, a lecture on the national cuisine of Ghana by Liina Saaremäe, a former volunteer in Africa, was especially memorable.

The pupils also had the chance of preparing a Ghanaian beverage. The project day ended with some movie watching.

Liina Saaremäe loeng Ghana vabariigist4
Students trying/tasting natural shea butter made by Ghanaian students in Sekoti School

The exhibition ComiX4 = Comics for Equality was displayed on the third floor of the school building to celebrate the project day.

Ghanaian traditional drink – “zoomkoom”

This is the 22. post from Ghana! And the last one! All the schools which registered in the Mondo’s food project have done their food project now (from September to November).

This post is special not only because it’s the last one from Ghana but this is the first and only which introduces you about the  Ghanaian traditional drink.

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Teacher Janet and camera-student

 

Kongo Junior High School decided to change their food project plan and prepare the drink called “zoomkoom” instead of making “tubani” (some schools have already prepared it!).

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Preparing traditional “zoomkoom” using guinea corn and shea butter

 

“Zoomkoom” is a flour water. “Zoom” means flour in nabt and “koom” means water. This drink is offered to (unexpected) guests, it is easy to make and delicious to taste! So “zoomkoom” is a welcome-to-my-house drink.

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Traditional “zoomkoom” is ready

There are two different variants of “zoomkoom”: the traditional one and more modernized. Kongo JHS prepared them both.

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Preparing modernized “zoomkoom” using millet flour and sugar

Recipe for traditional “zoomkoom”

Ingredients:

– Guinea corn flour mixed with pepper;

– shea butter;

– water.

How to prepare:

1. Mix the flour with shea butter and stir. Use kalabash.

2. Add some water and stir.

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Estonian volunteer, food project co-ordinator and the author of Ghana schools posts Liina tasting “zoomkoom” from kalabash.

 

In modernized “zoomkoom” instead of Guinea corn millet flour is used and sugar is also sugar is added, not shea butter – the rest is the same.

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“Zoomkoom” two different varieties: traditional (brown) and modernized (white)

 

“Zoomkoom” has an interesting taste, it is hot (spicy) and sweet at the same time! It is really nutritious and advised for sportsmen.

Watch our video and try to prepare “zoomkoom” yourself!

Read all the posts by Kongo Junior High School
Read all the post by students from Ghana.

Handmade shea butter

Sekoti PS food project – SHEA BUTTER
Shea butter is a natural fat extracted from the African shea tree.  It is edbile and is used in food preparation.  Ghanaians use it very often in different meals. They usually don’t use it as a body lotion, only for babies.

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Shea tree
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Sheanuts

The students from Sekoti Primary School prepared handmade shea butter – from shea tree nuts to cooled shea oil. It is wonderful how the fat changes the colour from brown to yellow!

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The most important part of making shea butter is kneading.
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Finished product, cooled shea oil – shea butter

To see how the Sekoti students made the shea butter, watch the video below!

Occasionally the chocolate industry uses shea butter as a substitute for cocoa butter. And all over the world shea butter is used in natural cosmetics as a moisturizer or body lotion. Shea butter melts at body temperature and absorbs rapidly into the skin without leaving a greasy feeling.

It is also used in pure natural soaps.

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NGO Mondo sells Ghanaian shea butter in Estonia

Read all the posts by Sekoti Primary School
Read all the post by students from Ghana.