Cat
I have always had an urge to volunteer doing something worthwhile with my time and energy. It was only once I became a Secondary English teacher here in the UK that an opportunity arose with a Ghanaian organisation. My trip to Ghana was my first flight alone, first trip alone and first adventure alone. When I reached Ghana I soon realised you are never alone; you always have friends and family. Whether this is through the wonderful children in Santrokofi, the amazing Agnes or volunteers and local friends you meet there is always someone to talk to! Once at The Living Faith Orphanage I was struck by how easily I was embedded in day to day life with the children. Every child at the orphanage is a pure joy to be with and I feel privileged to be able to hold them in my mind and heart. Soon after my arrival at the orphanage a group of RHF volunteers arrived and immediately I felt welcomed into their family. I was due to leave for another project on my own but couldn’t bear to leave the children and just had a feeling that these volunteers were who I was meant to be with in Ghana. From the happiness I saw in the children when we took them to the park or read them stories to the support we gave each other in private times of emotion I truly feel that I have gained not only memories and experience from the children of Ghana but friends for life in the RHF volunteers. While at the orphanage I formed a close bond with Mambra, a girl who for unexplained reasons seemed to connect with me. I remember her asking me not to leave and the urge I felt to be able to return to Ghana and maintain my link with the children. When we moved on to teach at the school in Santrokofi  I found that my teaching experience and understanding of children was a mixture of incredibly useful or totally useless! I was able to teach with freedom, creativity and most of all love. One of my greatest memories is of using music to encourage students to consider their personal feelings and it was amazing to see them go from being apprehensive to reflective of their own emotions and thought processes. We ended the lesson by taking the class outside as it was incredibly hot and it was unreal to see the class dancing and laughing to ‘You got the love’ by Florence and the Machine; a song which sums up Ghanaian love to me.
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