It was not a volunteer trip. We wanted to simply visit Ghana as backpackers, but at the same time bring some help with us. Through the Web www.trip-drop.com (which I recommend to all travelers who want to know how, where and whom to help, wherever they go) we went to find the NGO HolaGhana and its collaboration with the orphanage-school Akwadum Christian Village
This center offers at the moment accommodation, access to health, education, food and love to nine orphaned children (all between two and ten years old) and is also complemented by a school for some fifty of the most disadvantaged children in the area. Immediately we launched a series of activities to collect school material, sports and footwear in good condition, as well as donations.
We were impressed with how the people immediately turned to our cause. A “Solidarity Birthday” party, and a call among our companies, circles of friends and neighbors of the building, were enough to raise 1,315.00 Euros and to reach the 66 Kg of luggage that Air Maroc allowed us to embark for Ghana full of illusion.
The Akwadum Christian Village was our first stop in the country. Akwadum is a rural village, about twenty minutes from Koforidua, a small city about two and a half hours “tro-tro” from the capital Accra (a “tro-tro” is any passenger vehicle that is not a bus or a taxi that ranges from modern minivans with air conditioning, to modified trucks with enormous density of seats and an environment of omnipresent sweat). Once we arrived in Koforidua, we called Wisdom, director of the orphanage-school. Wisdom is a 38-year-old man with a constant and sincere smile on his face. From Monday to Friday he works at the school, while on Saturdays he visits poor villages to encourage the most disadvantaged people to go to his Sunday Mass. He is a pastor and very religious, but he lives the faith in a very different way than we are used to seeing here in Europe; he carries it in the soul and in his acts, and sees Jesus as a verb and not a noun.
Oscar de HolaGhana had coordinated our visit to the center and Montse, a HolaGhana volunteer who had arrived just a day before us for a 6-month volunteering, was in charge of reminding Wisdom about our arrival. Without having seen us before (not even in photos), when we met with Wisdom at the tro-tros station he gave us a hug and we immediately knew that we had created a strong connection. When he saw the suitcases with the material that we brought, he was touched. Then he told us that for him, the fact that we had arrived there, just to see them, regardless of the material we had brought, was a resounding victory for them.
We arrived at the Akwadum Christian Village at around 1:00 p.m. Upon leaving the minibus, all the children came running to welcome us. Some of the little ones hugged our legs. After greeting everyone one by one and playing with them for an hour and a half, Wisdom called us to meet with the head of studies and convey our idea about doing an activity with the children the next day, on Saturday. This would consist of telling them something about the planes and doing an origami activity: coloring some models kindly donated by the Fly Beyond Dreams Foundation of José’s Airbus companions, then cutting them out, mounting them and playing with them. The objective of the presentation was something more than talking about airplanes. It was also to get them out of their routine and try to experience fascination. Transmit the message that nothing is impossible. Flying was an inaccessible dream, even for geniuses like Leonardo Da Vinci. The message we wanted to convey: nothing is impossible, if you fight hard to achieve it. The idea seemed fantastic to them.
Children usually do not go to school on Saturdays, but Wisdom told us that through the public address system in the village, he would summon them for 9:00 am on Saturday and we would see how many children would come. The next day, we arrived at school at 9 and there were about 50 children waiting for us (and they told us that many had arrived since 7), many of them very well dressed, as if they were going to Sunday Mass. Everyone was very expectant and curious. Preparing for the activity, we draw a plane with chalk on the board to talk about the different parts of an airplane; we prepared an atlas that we brought with us, to indicate from where we were coming by plane; we prepare the aircraft models on cardboards; we take colored pencils, plastidécor, markers, sharpeners and 50 scissors brand new, of the material collected in Madrid; We asked the teachers to divide them into groups by age and we told them we were ready to start. José started the presentation. It was also curious that almost as interested as the children were the caregivers
Están a 15 min de Koforidua. Contactar primero con el centro.