The most recent task I carried out on the Charity Apprentice course was called “Name Your Heroes” a task which required us to write about a charity/cause that we are passionate about. I chose to write about the Raising Hope Foundation and it really made me think about the reasons why I’ve taken this risk in the first place. I know it’s a bit of a cheat blog but here’s what I wrote for the task.
I’d be really interested to know what motivates other people – let me know!
The Children of Santrokofi – My Inspiration and My Heroes
These children huddled around my belly are the the absolute world to me.
In 2007 I travelled to Ghana to teach English. I set off on my own for my four week trip not knowing that the person who was going to change my life forever was also heading to Ghana from the UK; four months later I returned back home still none the wiser. I’d had an absolutely amazing time and made lots of new friends but it wasn’t until I started University several months later that everything clicked into place.
At 5ft 4, I’m quite short and, on a night out in the students union, I got talking to a fellow small person (who I now know as Beth!) who was equally as annoyed as I was at continually getting pushed aside in the queue to the bar. We laughed, got our drinks and that was that. The next morning I had a Facebook friend request from Beth. I accepted and set about doing some Facebook stalking – and there it was! Her most recent status “Heading out to Ghana this summer soooooo excited. If you’re interested message me”. Obviously I did and that’s when I was introduced to the Raising Hope Foundation. The charity was set up by Kinza Mason who, unbeknownst to me at the time, was on her first trip to Ghana at exactly the same time as I was.
Seven years on and five trips to Ghana later and I haven’t looked back. The Raising Hope Foundation works in the Volta Region of Ghana, in a small village called Santrokofi. We’re currently working on a Child Care Centre project which I have seen develop from a plan on paper to an almost complete project.
At Raising Hope Foundation we work with the local community to help orphaned and needy children. We help families out who can’t afford to look after their children or who have to travel to work to be able to provide (which is the reason our project is called a child care centre rather than an orphanage – it’s not just for orphaned children)
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. They are the reason behind everything I do and I am eternally grateful to them for everything they have given me. I whole-heartedly love the work we do, the children we work with and my Raising Hope family. The people I have met in the UK through the charity are my best friends and I’m really hoping that Charity Apprentice is going to bring me the same opportunities.
I’ll leave you with some of my favourite photos of my heroes: