The difference we make to people

by Nathan Kelly, Year 13 student – Rainford High Technology College

Multi-coloured drapes hung from the walls of the church as the village began to file in. All had come to see what was in our three suitcases, the clothes we had brought to be shared amongst the orphaned children of the village.
Everyone had their own desperation as they clambered round us with the hope of being given some of the clothes we had brought.
As the room became saturated, with both people and desperation, I felt my eyes begin to well up.
Despite the upset I felt, another volunteer reminded me that the help we gave to those who received it would have a great impact on them – it was the difference we made to those people that was important.
It was not just that village we helped; the trip, from Rainford College, helped in many places within Ghana.
Throughout the fortnight we built several libraries within various schools of Kumasi, with the hope that the children who attended could receive the best education possible and would in turn be able to better themselves for later life.
Another of our projects occurred in Kumasi Children’s Home; there we helped by tending to the vegetable patch and installed beds – paid for by a Rainford High own clothes day – to help more of the children enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep.
This was particularly important, because many of the children had to sleep on the cold hard floor before we brought them the beds and mattresses.
A further project was in a village, where we helped women who’d been forced to leave their homes, with children, for various reasons. There we cooked traditional food with them and tried our hands at weaving to see how the village earns an income.
As a group of eight, six students and two teachers, we experienced something that is far beyond words and comprehension.
As a country, Ghana is unlike anywhere I have ever been before and doubt will ever see again. It has a culture of friendliness and relaxation that was a far cry away from the UK’s often harsh and fast moving pace.
From those we met on the street, to the children who wanted a photograph with us in the schools, everyone was incredibly friendly and a delight to be with.
Ghana itself is a country of rural, chaotic and jagged beauty, from the dirt track roads to the local delicacy of fufu (which is a tasting experience to say the least), its culture seeps an innate feeling of resilience, happiness and hope for a brighter future.
Before I went, I couldn’t conceptualise what the journey would be like and now it’s over it’s hard to comprehend; it was utterly fantastic and broke all boundaries I’d set for it.
It is a great hope of ours that the help we gave will have a long-term positive impact on all that received it.
Despite many of them having nothing, they were all so happy; it left me awe struck. It is something that many people could learn from, for them happiness was not brought about by materialism, they were simply happy because it is a joyous feeling to have.

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