This week’s Friday thoughts is a little different to the last couple. I don’t have a list of my highs and lows for you today.
Instead, I want to talk about charity. Stick with me for this one please. Charity work has always been a huge part of my adult life. I decided to take a gap year before starting university so that I could volunteer abroad. I chose Ghana and immediately fell in love with the country and its people. So much so that on my 3rd or 4th day there, I changed my stay from one month to four months.
I’ve spent 6 summers over the last 9 years in Ghana. Teaching, playing, caring, supporting. The people who I’ve met through the charity in the UK have become my best friends. The people I’ve met in Ghana have become my inspiration and motivation.
I spent the whole of 2014 raising money for the Raising Hope Foundation. Since then I haven’t done much and this week I’ve been thinking of ways to get back into my role with the charity, both in terms of fundraising and volunteering.
People often ask my why I’ve stayed with the same charity, visiting the same place year after year and the answer is simple – the children. They fill every minute of my time with them with love, light and laughter. I’ve run around in the baking Ghanaian summer sun playing football with them, taught them how to read and count and taken them on day trips, I’ve sat up all night with them when they were sick.
A while ago, I wrote a blog post where I said “They [the children] are the reason behind everything I do and I am eternally grateful to them for everything they have given me.” And, whilst this is still true, I feel like I’ve lost sight of this slightly over the last couple of years. They’ve always been on my mind but I’ve not be pro-active enough about things.
I miss the children in Ghana, hell I miss everything about Ghana. It breaks my heart that I haven’t been for the last 3 years. I need to see the children and the progress that’s been made on the Child Care Centre. But more importantly, I need to step up my game in supporting the amazing work that the Raising Hope Foundation does from this side.
The first step in this is the Brighton Marathon. I’ll be using this event to raise money for the charity. I’ll be setting up a fundraising page this weekend so keep your eyes peeled for that! I’m also looking for something a little more unusual to do later in the year. At the moment I’m thinking about a Saharan trek next October but I’m open to suggestions right now.