Volunteer Review: Trevor Q., Care & Community in Ghana
Most people would agree that you can never truly appreciate what you have until it’s gone. This summer I went on an adventure to a place where most have only dreamed or read about, Ghana. My two weeks there could not be fully understood in 300 words, or even a book.
In the weeks before I left for this trip of a lifetime, I was filled with excitement and hesitation. I was excited to travel half-way across the world and experience African culture the way that people could only read about in Canada. Although this excitement filled me, this was also my first time traveling alone for an extended period of time and I knew I would be faced with challenges, as well as triumphs.
My Care & Community Project
I took part in the 2 Week High School Special project and was placed in Cape Coast, Ghana. For those two weeks it was my fellow group members and my task to teach the younger kids (less than 7 years old) many skills they will need in order to be a successful person. This included teaching them how to write in English, reading them stories, and of course bringing out the creative and imaginative side in them with arts and crafts! This may not seem like a lot but like I said, it’s not something you can read about and understand… you have to experience it for yourself!
In the afternoon we had the pleasure of giving Ebubunko School a new coat of paint or two! Many hours and hard work were spent sanding down the walls and giving it many coats of paint but let me let you in on the best part. Through the hot African sun there was many times when I just wanted to give up painting and take a break. However, I had motivation to keep me going… it was the small child with a huge smile on their face peeking through the window that made it all worthwhile to keep going! I knew I had to finish the job because I was doing it for that child and their friends and I wanted them to be happy.
The Projects Abroad Experience
The other great part of the trip was the people I came across; the teachers, Projects Abroad staff, local Ghanaians, and my host family. They always made me feel welcomed in a place that I was unfamiliar and their kindness truly made the experience that much more memorable. The air was always filled with the sound of laughter and a smile was always on their face. It was truly the most remarkable thing to experience.
As the days, weeks, and months go by I still hold a special place in my heart for all the children that I met. When I came and went from work every day they would always run beside the tro tro and wave and smile even though I would see them again tomorrow. Seeing how blowing bubbles made the kids so happy really touched me, as for many people in the Western culture it takes a lot more than that.
I can truly say that I appreciate life a lot more and want to strive towards helping others. Thanks for all the lifetime memories Ghana!
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart”- Helen Keller
This volunteer story may include references to working in or with orphanages. Find out more about Projects Abroad's current approach to volunteering in orphanages and our focus on community-based care for children.
This is a personal account of one volunteer’s experience on the project and is a snapshot in time. Your experience may be different, as our projects are constantly adapting to local needs and building on accomplishments. Seasonal weather changes can also have a big impact. Find out more about what you can expect from this project, or speak to one of our friendly Program Advisors.