Why I wanted to go to Ghana?

by - 21:45

When I got home after attending Yali Regional Leadership training in South Africa everything at home seemed pointless. I was depressed because after spending one month with the most promising young people in the world, I felt like Angola didn't have anything to offer me. I decided that my future was not here and that I should do a gap year to find myself. When I heard from a Yali participant about the opportunity to volunteer to go to Ghana to assist the victims of the flood, I applied. Ghana sounded as the best option for me at that time. Even though there was a humanitarian reason behind my decision, I really wanted to just run away...

While I was studying PR and Communication in the UK I did volunteering for two years and I was an online bullying mentor for 6 months. That involvement with British society changed my perception of life and helped me with my selfish ways. It was a strategy to connect with their land and struggles, to understand them. I was amazed by their commitment to providing a place of panacea for disable children (since they have a high percentage of disable people in their nation) and elders. Volunteering tells a story of people with humanity because they are willing to arrange the time and find in their spirit a genuine intention to help the community.

When I attended the YALI training program I was fortunate to work with others participants in a project based on Climate Change. We learned about how global warming is affecting our world and the catastrophe consequences. Understanding the current situation of the world made me sympathize with the situation in Ghana. I wanted to travel to Ghana and attempt to provide some relief or save someone who’s life has been affected by the floods.

Last year in Angola hundreds of people died due to floods consistency and a lot of people were left homeless and hopeless. In my country there is a lack of “Team work”, community are not eager to help others and I feel ashamed for our weakness and audacity of being so selfish. Many times I wondered “Where can I go to help? Who should I talk to?”  I fear for my country and how the nation will be affected by the climate change. Besides floods our temperature is decreasing every year, Angola is not ready for cold seasons, people do not have the clothes and the houses are not built to sustain those low temperatures. 

I believed this was my call. Even though I have not done anything for my country I thought I could do for Ghana… God teaches us to not be divided, but to be united…

Some people think there’s nothing we can do against natural disaster but for me, personally human kind can fight anything. Humans are constantly learning and education is the key to every solution. I think a flood preventing awareness campaign should be an effective suggestion in which we would inform people on how to landscape homes with grass to allow the ground to soak the rainwater, plant trees, make drainages, etc. It's about common sense and using our education/intelligence to overcome the problem.

I learned that some hospitals in Accra were unable to take a number of victims. I intended to help find spaces where people can receive treatment or take the volunteers for a medical mission to their homes; also I could have contributed the most in counseling by talking to the victims since people were in a stressful position where they needed a shoulder because they lost their families and houses. That situation can drive anyone to suicide thoughts. 

Being a writer as saved me in every possible way, I have become a good listener, more understanding of the needs of others. I really felt sympathetic to the cause not only because I respect any African nation but also because they were asking for help and I think there is beauty in vulnerability and bravery to ask for help. It had also a spiritual meaning to me because I remember on my worst days when I considered suicide as a solution I always found myself thinking about water...Drowning myself in water…Why water? Because it keeps moving… It never stops and it takes whatever it is on its way…it's careless! Its doesn’t matter if you are a person or simple garbage it will carry on…

Unfortunately, the organization behind the initiative never contacted me but I wanted to share with you guys the reason why I wanted to go there since my family didn't understand it.

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