Going to Ghana has been life changing. I had only heard and seen on television the way people lived in impoverished villages until I saw it firsthand my self. Seeing such poverty has shown me that in life you have to be grateful and fortunate for the things you have because even if you don’t have anything you can always have happiness. These kids showed me happiness everyday with their beautiful smiles that went from ear to ear.
Volunteering was something I had been wanting to do for years but I could never find the right time for it… until this year. I was skeptical to say the least, and Ghana was a country I had never imagined visiting, let alone build a library for over 300 kids. I remember attending the first volunteers meeting and leaving thinking about all kinds of things. I started imagining what Ghana would be like, from the weather to the food… the food was my biggest worry as I’m a pretty fussy eater. None the less, Red Red, light soup and Jolly have become some of my all time favourite foods.
I spent the best month of my life living alongside the loving community of Kewunor and Azizanya where everybody would just walk around with smiles on their faces and knew my name after 2 days. Volunteering is rewarding and satisfying, but its something you need to experience yourself to understand. That amazing feeling you get when you see the impact will have for future generations of that village is something unexplainable.
2019 has been an eye opener for me, I was able to grasp an opportunity that doesn’t come often. These opportunities allow people to really appreciate and value the meaning of hard work and physical labour; building the library wasn’t by any means easy. It was tiring both physically ad mentally, but I proved to myself I could do it, and learnt and mastered all kinds of skills I never imagined myself learning, like plastering. Volunteering has made me experience things I never thought I would. I can say after this summer I feel like I have grown as a person.
So although sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t sound like a good idea… for me its changed my life.
I would recommend volunteering to everyone.