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PROYECTOS SOLIDARIOS PARA ÁFRICA

Inscrita en el Registro de Asociaciones de Andalucía con número 9849

NIF: G-19605187

 

Testimonio Brona Walsh (Ghana)

Testimonio

On the 10th of July this year I arrived in Ghana, West Africa to begin my 5 week volunteer project, volunteering in a public school in a small town close to Kumasi city. I had travelled to Ghana with the hopes of gaining an insight into the lives of local people, the culture and the realities of poverty and lack of access to opportunities that push so many Ghanaians towards migration. What I gained was a unique and life-shaping experience living alongside some of the most open, generous, welcoming and caring people that I have had the privilege of encountering in my life.

Ghana has huge problems with poverty and corruption, influenced as much by external forces as internal ones and this was not a surprise to me. What did surprise me was the way in which Ghanians react to such challenging life circumstances, taking on all problems thrown at them with a cool head and an unfaltering sense of humour, relying solely on themselves and their own initiative, entrepreneurship and resourcefulness to get themselves (and their whole extended family) through each day. In Ghana I learned to find humour in everything, to provide for myself with my own two hands and that my happiness is not dependent on material or economic circumstances but on the joy that can be taken from everyday human encounters, companionship and mutual care and support.

My project began in a small public school in a town on the outskirts of Kumasi city, staying in a shared compound with my host and his extended family. The first week was spent improvising lessons and games with the junior students, getting to know the setup of the Ghanaian school system and maintaining a constant to and fro of salutations with the entire school population who were more than excited to have a volunteer in the school.

With my host I visited a public school in a village named Boyase ( meaning under a rock) at the bottom of a ridged valley in the midst of one of Kumasi’ impressive rainforests. Here, I came to see the difference in the standard of education and educational access between urban and rural schools, and to see first hand how poverty can rob a child of his/her opportunity to receive a basic education. I decided to spend the rest of my time in this village with my host, and having found out what was most urgently needed from school staff I called on my family and friends for donations, in the hopes of making some basic improvements in the school. Within 3 days we had raised enough money to cement a classroom floor, order enough tables and chairs to get every student seated, provide 5 computers for a computer lab and build toilets for the school.

The rest of my time I spent with my host co-ordinating this small project we had begun, pricing and purchasing materials and travelling back and forth between Kumasi and the village. I had the privilege of working closely with locals in the area and the encouragement and support offered from them at every step of the way meant I also got to see the works completed before I left.

Leaving Ghana, I had the feeling that this was not the end of my project but the laying of roots for a hopefully much more long-term relationship between this small rural community and international solidarity workers and volunteers. It is a relationship that I hope will continue to grow and to offer opportunities to many more volunteers like myself to lend some support and in return gain a wealth of knowledge and experience that will leave them more engaged, inspired and more conscious individuals upon their return. Volunteers will have a chance to be part of a close knit community group and will experience what it is to truly live collectively and to show solidarity with a community that is grappling with poverty on a day to day level. And in the true sense of solidarity, they will see that the support they can give will be returned tenfold by the locals with their words, their actions and their companionship and the many​ unspoken lessons On the 10th of July this year I arrived in Ghana, West Africa to begin my 5 week volunteer project, volunteering in a public school in a small town close to Kumasi city. I had travelled to Ghana with the hopes of gaining an insight into the lives of local people, the culture and the realities of poverty and lack of access to opportunities that push so many Ghanaians towards migration. What I gained was a unique and life-shaping experience living alongside some of the most open, generous, welcoming and caring people that I have had the privilege of encountering in my life.

Ghana has huge problems with poverty and corruption, influenced as much by external forces as internal ones and this was not a surprise to me. What did surprise me was the way in which Ghanians react to such challenging life circumstances, taking on all problems thrown at them with a cool head and an unfaltering sense of humour, relying solely on themselves and their own initiative, entrepreneurship and resourcefulness to get themselves (and their whole extended family) through each day. In Ghana I learned to find humour in everything, to provide for myself with my own two hands and that my happiness is not dependent on material or economic circumstances but on the joy that can be taken from everyday human encounters, companionship and mutual care and support.

My project began in a small public school in a town on the outskirts of Kumasi city, staying in a shared compound with my host and his extended family. The first week was spent improvising lessons and games with the junior students, getting to know the setup of the Ghanaian school system and maintaining a constant to and fro of salutations with the entire school population who were more than excited to have a volunteer in the school.

With my host I visited a public school in a village named Boyase ( meaning under a rock) at the bottom of a ridged valley in the midst of one of Kumasi’ impressive rainforests. Here, I came to see the difference in the standard of education and educational access between urban and rural schools, and to see first hand how poverty can rob a child of his/her opportunity to receive a basic education. I decided to spend the rest of my time in this village with my host, and having found out what was most urgently needed from school staff I called on my family and friends for donations, in the hopes of making some basic improvements in the school. Within 3 days we had raised enough money to cement a classroom floor, order enough tables and chairs to get every student seated, provide 5 computers for a computer lab and build toilets for the school.

The rest of my time I spent with my host co-ordinating this small project we had begun, pricing and purchasing materials and travelling back and forth between Kumasi and the village. I had the privilege of working closely with locals in the area and the encouragement and support offered from them at every step of the way meant I also got to see the works completed before I left.

Leaving Ghana, I had the feeling that this was not the end of my project but the laying of roots for a hopefully much more long-term relationship between this small rural community and international solidarity workers and volunteers. It is a relationship that I hope will continue to grow and to offer opportunities to many more volunteers like myself to lend some support and in return gain a wealth of knowledge and experience that will leave them more engaged, inspired and more conscious individuals upon their return. Volunteers will have a chance to be part of a close knit community group and will experience what it is to truly live collectively and to show solidarity with a community that is grappling with poverty on a day to day level. And in the true sense of solidarity, they will see that the support they can give will be returned tenfold by the locals with their words, their actions and their companionship and the many​ unspoken lessons 

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+34 697 999 707

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TESTIMONIOS
  • Brona Walsh
    On the 10th of July this year I arrived in Ghana, West Africa to begin my 5 week volunteer project, volunteering in a public school in a small town close to Kumasi city. I had travelled to Ghana with the hopes of gaining an insight into the lives of local people, the culture and the ...
  • Sara Corrales
    Localización: Aflao, Ghana Cuando hay tanto sentimiento, es muy difícil encontrar palabras para describir una experiencia tan inolvidable. Sin duda alguna, la valoración de mi voluntariado es más que positiva. El 22 de diciembre, vísperas de nav...
  • María Lorenzo
    Sin lugar a ninguna duda, haber tomado la decisión de marchar a Ghana, concretamente a Aflao, para vivir esta experiencia de voluntariado, es algo de lo que me acordaré de ahora en adelante todos los días de mi vida, pues nunca dejaré de echarlo de meno...
  • KARINA RODRÍGUEZ
    Mi nombre es Karina, de Argentina. Estuve participando como voluntaria en un orfanato de Sudáfrica a través de SAPP NGO y la experiencia fue extraordinaria.  Estoy​ muy agradecida por haberme permitido vivir esta experiencia. Gracias por todo!!
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