STEP Project: Working in a Ghanaian Orphanage

Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.

This past May I travelled to Ghana to live and work at the Achiase Children’s Home for 3 weeks. While there the group of volunteers assisted the children in their daily chores, like doing laundry, washing dishes, and helping clean the bedrooms. We also had the opportunity to teach in the school. We either observed or helped to run lessons in math, English, religion, and history. The rest of the time was spent playing and building a connection with the kids. They introduced to many Ghanaian games.

 

What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project?

While in Ghana, I realized how much I want to work in Africa one day. I want to go back and continue working with the people I met. Working abroad has been something I have thought about a couple times before this trip. However, finally finding a place I care about and want to help better, made it easy to realize that working as a nurse over there is something I really want to do.

 

What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you?

Everything that happened in Ghana has led me to realize that transformation. More recently I decided I want to go into nursing, and I want to work with children. The volunteers lived inside the orphanage, so the kids were always around. It was so easy to form a tight bond with them. They were always running around wanting to play with you or help you with anything you were doing. The adults also had a profound impact on my experience. They opened their arms and welcomed us into their home as a member of their family. They took such good care of us and always wanted to help us in our activities. Seeing these interactions with the adults and kids was incredible. I spent a good deal of time working in the classrooms and then with the kids at night during the tutoring sessions. I realized how much I enjoyed interacting with them and that I could work with kids in my career if I wanted to.

 

Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life?

This experience had a significant impact on my life because it helped me realize what I want to do for my career. It made me realize I want to dedicate at least part of my time post graduation abroad working with those that are less fortunate. I’ve become even more passionate about my studies since the trip. I want to do as well as possible so that I can make this dream a reality. Seeing how hard the kids work everyday to better themselves was really inspiring as well.

 

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