Archive for September, 2014

Founder’s Day Volunteers

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2014 by kola


The great man as many have described him as, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah had a great vision for Ghana. He saw a Ghana that was bereft of any struggle but rather a Ghana that could stand on it’s own feet. He didn’t see this vision only for Ghana but for the African continent as a whole.

This is epitomized in his quote that “finally the black man is capable of handling his own affairs”. But is this really true? That is a story for another day.

The man therefore expended quite a considerable time and effort in establishing African unity and today his birthday has been ratified by the African Union as Founder’s Day across the continent to be celebrated in remembrance of Africa’s founding fathers. 

But as I sit on the loo musing. I wonder if truly Africa will come out of the doldrums of poverty that It’s been sunk into by whoever. Oh please! Let’s not hesitate to pass the buck and shirk any responsibilities when it comes to who to blame for Africa’s current situation. It’s true we can blame the leaders and policy makers but then the question is who made them leaders and policy makers, what has changed and why all this years.

We do have ourselves to blame and it’s high time we did something about it as citizens of Africa in our respective countries in our own small ways to make the world a better place for us all.

It is in line with this that GhanaThink Foundation rolled out a volunteering program which event occurs annually on Founders Day to encourage people to go out there and volunteer in leading or participation in a communal project. Several projects are lined up across Ghana in every region.

This year National Volunteer Day tagged #nvDay14 had blood donation drives in all major hospitals in all regions, community clean up campaigns, orphanage outreaches, library reading sessions for children and the one yours truly participated in was a school rebuilding project in Apagya in the Ashanti Region.

Whilst volunteering for various causes, I’ve come to realize that there is a sense of fulfilment not in the thanks one gets from the recipient but in one’s own mind that you’re putting a smile on another person’s face.

Painting in Apagya and then later trying to think of designing a canal to take away stagnant water that was collected on the school compound made me realize that there are a lot of things in life that one takes for granted that matters immensely to some other people.

Walking through the classrooms was an epiphany in the magnitude of how lax we’ve let the education of our future leaders become if we’re leaving it in the hands of the government ministry. I never thought I’d see a black board that also served as a notice board and floors that were ankle hazards, even to adult volunteers.

This is a school whose roof had been ripped off and philanthropists were putting the classrooms back together. I was even too afraid to ask of the temporary structures considering how the weather determines almost anything in the region and what our government is constantly saying about eradicating school under trees. That’s another pipe dream left in the hands of the government. 

I didn’t even realize that the man I was talking to who was lamenting about the engineers doing a shoddy job with
constructing the main drainage gutter was the headmaster of the school. He even told me he’d also been in Legon and I teased him that he was a farmer.

One profound observation made was also the African attitude where we stand aloof and expect others to deal with our problems for us. Whilst the volunteers painted the school, the majority of the youth just looked on standing around observing proceedings. Maybe it’s just me but I think this attitude transcends just the individual since it’s in the same manner that governments cause debts from wrong policies and then go abroad to solicit for loans to solve these same problems that could’ve been nipped in the bud to forestall a major crisis it always ends up into.

So now would you blame only the policy makers for Africa’s woes when right from infancy we’ve been indoctrinated to let others solve our problems for us. 

Founder’s Day, #nvDay14,
has come and gone and inasmuch as it’s a political day I won’t even venture into Nkrumah’s legacy because I’m no expert on politics and it’s science. All I see are the signs.

Volunteering is truly an eye opener and as I sit musing over this I have just realized that there is a lot of what I’m doing now in the system and it’s up to us as individuals to sift through the system and just as the body does, get rid of the shit you have no use for.

Go out there, reach out to the less privileged and experience the inner joy and peace that comes when a child looks into your face and says thank you, or an adult gives you a weak smile and manages to mouth the words “God bless you”. That’s more rewarding sometimes than a whole lot of things that you work hard for.

All it takes is to go out there, volunteer for a cause and realize the volunteering is life.

Get a life!

Making Ghana or Africa a better place takes us holding each other up and whilst you hold someone up you realize you’re also depending on that person for balance.

If even you’re not interested in Nkrumah’s vision for Africa, please carve your own vision and see it fulfilled. 

Like I always say it begins with YOU!!