Friday 7 September 2018


Student Gabriel wanted to make her summer count - so she embarked on an adventure volunteering with other young people to build accommodation in a small village in Ghana!
This summer I decided to spend five weeks volunteering in Ghana with Lasallian Developing World Projects. The opportunity to become involved came when one of the charity's organisers came into school for interviews. I decided that such an experience would be so special - I could not waste the opportunity! I wanted to do something to help counter the poverty and inequality so prevalent in the world today. Of course, I could only make a little difference, but it made me realise that if everyone put in a small effort, big changes could be brought about.

The thought of venturing off to West Africa with eleven other students I didn’t yet know absolutely terrified me, but after a lot of thinking and talking to others, I decided to jump headfirst into this crazy adventure. To go on the expedition, I had to raise £1,600 (very good value, I reckon!). Raising the money was much less painful than I thought it would be. I wrote letters to many relatives and family friends who send generous donations. I also held two cake sales in school which was easy and enjoyable! My main fundraiser was a meal I held in a hired venue: about thirty people came and I made a good profit from that to achieve my target.
When I first arrived in Ghana, I felt very homesick, which was unsurprising given my introverted nature. But with the support of my group, I began to settle in and enjoy Africa. We were based in the village of Kaleo, near Wa, in the Savannah region, and our task was to help build accommodation for nuns, who were soon to be teaching in the school next door. Working in the heat every day was tough, but with good music and great company it was also fun! We made mortar, plastered door frames and formed water chains for the local builders.
I gained a huge sense of independence during my time in Ghana: walking into the town on my own to buy provisions; being cautious of health worries such as malaria; and cooking for ten people! It benefitted me personally in so many ways, whilst giving me the rewarding knowledge that I was helping a less privileged community. The local people we met were all so welcoming and friendly, making us feel at home all the time, and we made many friends from whom it was so difficult and sad to part!
Being in Ghana for five weeks certainly changed me and made me discover more about myself. I threw myself in far beyond my comfort zone, which showed me how strong and confident I could actually be. My eyes are much more open to the diversity which exists in the world. Being in Ghana also made me realise the importance of human connection: friendship is a huge part of the community in which we were staying.
I would highly recommend getting involved in a summer expedition such as this; it is rewarding and memorable, and has changed my outlook on life.

You can find out more about the organisers of this project here:

Cathy says:
Wow... what an amazing experience! Those five weeks in Ghana must have been a challenge, but how  satisfying to know you've contributed something genuinely worthwhile! Do YOU ever dream of volunteering to help others? COMMENT BELOW to tell us more!

1 comment:

  1. I don't volunteer but I give out free advice everyday to people who need it. It's my hobby and I love it.
    That's a great thing to do Gabriel! Good for you!



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