AllPeopleBeHappy afforded me the opportunity to work with Ghana Act at an eye clinic that visits rural areas to address preventable blindness, eye health, and vision. I traveled to many villages where I took patient vitals and distributed supplies. This opportunity spoke to me because it provided healthcare to people with limited access and it improved patient vision, which is a means of not only seeing the world but of learning from it. Studies have shown that poor eyesight constrains quality of life and the ability to learn in school and perform many jobs. I hope that by improving eye sight, we also empowered people to better their lives.
What I didn’t anticipate was the vast amount of the unexpected that accompanies living and volunteering in a developing country, and the opportunity for change and growth that the unexpected can provide. I was fortunate that my volunteer agency Ghana Act allowed me to explore the unplanned, and that I followed it with an open heart.
On days the eye clinic didn’t take outreach trips, I decided to volunteer teach the sixth grade at a small school in a rural farming village called Saviefe Deme. It’s an experience that wasn’t part of my “volunteer plan” and I’m very grateful for it. My time teaching in this village transformed my relationship to people who are in poverty, and to kids, who no matter their circumstance, have a tremendous need for support and honest belief in their abilities. This leads me to,
Lesson No. 1: On volunteer trips, embrace unexpected opportunities to get involved.
Lesson No. 2 is best demonstrated with pictures.
Last day of teaching:
Which brings me to,
Lesson No. 2: On volunteer trips, oh what a difference a day makes! (Or a week, or a month)!
Volunteer, and volunteer with your whole heart.
Thank you, AllPeopleBeHappy