Presidential Volunteer

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Even before she came across the word volunteer as a concept she had always enjoyed helping people out and making a difference in people’s lives. A product of a CAMFED program she was given an appointment to serve as a coordinator for Camfed Alumni (CAMA)in the sagnarigu district of Tamale in the Northern region.

That was the beginning of actual volunteer work for the lovely Rukiyaro Delman as part of a bigger organization which has volunteering as one of its core values, one in which they regard in high esteem as part of giving back to their  communities for what they have been able to achieve.

In this era a lot of people emphasize the fact that volunteering is something you do without any expectation of gains but Ruki (as she’s affectionately called)likes to go beyond that to define volunteering as a skill learning opportunity.

What this means is that whatever material gain one makes for doing something can be taken away from you but the knowledge and skills that one learns remains with you forever.

Very profound if you ask me. 

“I love volunteering to contribute my quota to the development of whatever group I find myself and this has been the guiding philosophy that led to my becoming an entrepreneur because I wanted to do my part in d quest to reduce unemployment in Ghana”.

I found this quote pretty interesting because who will get into enterprise just to contribute her quota to national development via volunteering.

Ruki has participated in a  lot of community outreach programs such as  organizing the CAMA team to do a sensitization and screening.program  on hepatitis B at the Tamale chief’s palace. She also led several teams to carry out social programs such as leading young people from 16 districts in Tamale on a variety on social projects including training as peer educators under the CAMFED general program.

As a core business trainer she trained young women to be self employed and empowered in their core duties to society and life in general.

It was against this background that out of over 50000 applicants from all over Africa she applied and was chosen as one of the 500 young people for the Mandela Washington Fellowship, instituted by President Obama himself when he came into office as POTUS.

Little did our Ruki know that her background in volunteering and contributing positively to community development will stand her in good stead to be awarded the fellowship. 

In Washington for the fellowship she had the opportunity to network with over a 1000 people from all over the world.  They were taken through business and leadership modules in the  University of Wisconsin Stout. She learned more in the time there about business than she had ever learned in her life anywhere and she stresses that for her it was totally free.

Being a core business trainer for CAMA members to become peer educators in financial literacy, little did she know that she was being noticed and was recommended for the fellowship. Some of the girls she’s trained have gone further to become peer trainers in Tamale and other parts of the northern region where CAMFED operates.

Ruki is back home and she’s not resting but still neck deep in every volunteer activity available such as being part of the GhanaThink Foundation programs like BarCamp and JuniorCamp to mentor high school students.

Recently she lead a couple of young people to raise resources to paint the Nyohini Children’s Home in a program dubbed The Paint Our Home Project.

Rukayaro’s story is probably one of those Long winding tales that begin with selflessness but comes with great rewards in the end. Here is a story that begins with giving her heart out for community development and ending up shaking hands with POTUS Barack Obama himself.

She was selfless in the beginning but ended up gaining free business training in United States.

I’ve been stressing this whole month that volunteerism is a selfless act with no gain but there could be gains when you least expect. So it doesn’t take much but just a little time and energy to give back to the community via a selfless act.

Like I always say, it begins with YOU!!!

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