31 Oct Katie: My Experience in Ghana
I’ve now returned from my once-in-a-life time trip to Ghana and I can honestly say that it was the best and most intense experience of my life.
I travelled out there for a month in association with Original Volunteers who are the UK’s leading independent volunteering specialist.
They send volunteers abroad to more than 100 projects across 20 countries. Their placements are ethical, flexible, worthwhile and really do make an enormous difference to many communities across the world. Original Volunteers is passionate about getting help to the people and animals that need it most, and to bring about change using just a smile, challenging work, and a bit of common sense.
What an amazing experience It was! It was truly humbling to see so many families and people working so hard for a better life and it’s most definitely changed me forever. It’s certainly a completely dissimilar experience for me as we get back to the exciting task of graduate recruitment at The Talent Group It’s made me look at life differently which is certainly a skill that will benefit me professionally too when looking for the right people for roles that we have on offer.
Arriving there was a bit of a culture shock to say the least, with no running water, electricity, little resources when it comes to food, health, hygiene and schooling, it is simply a million miles away from the luxuries that we don’t even realise we experience every minute of every day here in the UK.
The children in the schools are just amazing. They have such wise heads on their shoulders but you realise just how little they are when they run up to you with huge smiles on their faces and the sheer amazement at seeing a white lady coming to help them! It truly warmed my heart.
There are lots of stories that I could tell you all about but here are a few will remain with me:
Meeting Baby Joe
Every week we went to an Outreach (outreach is a local village nearby that needs help) They don’t have clothes or food, so we take supplies and visit the supermarket on the way to get them food. This village had over 500 people and the simply adorable Joe was handed to me. He only had a piece of fabric as a nappy. It broke my heart. I had great fun picking him out a whole outfit for him and I also gave him a toy as he was teething! I think he looks happy with my choice!
The Wonderful William
This is me with William, he is eleven and gets up at 4am every morning to work on his dad’s onion farm to pay for his school uniform each term. A lot of his classmates don’t have a uniform at all. William’s shoes are too small for him and yesterday one of them broke. This is the reality of life in Ghana. I bought William a new pair of shoes yesterday and also bought him a new school uniform with Camilla our Operations Director. This is real life for them, and although it makes us sad, we should use it to put our own lives into perspective and feel proud that we can make a difference.
I am now back in the UK and on the road again with The Talent Group team but my journey is not over as I’m going to go back next year to visit them all and I’m also sponsoring eight children to help them with their school fees; it’s the least that I can do and the benefits they will get from just a little help is huge.
Here are the children with their letters that were written to them explaining we have paid their school fees for the year.
Finally, I’d like to say a big thank you all for all your love and support, your messages made all the difference.
Project Consultant, The Talent Group