Volunteers on Founders Day

Volunteers on Founders Day

The Founders day is a day set aside to honor the first president of Ghana for his role in Ghana’s independence. Thus his birthday is set aside as a national holiday to honor him. However, the GhanaThink Foundation in a bid to ensure that the youth actively participate in productive activities on this particular day set it aside as a National Volunteers Day where young people all over the country engage in volunteer activities in one field or the other.

Volunteerism is the spirit of giving of oneself to engage in an act to another person or doing something that not necessarily benefit the doer but for the general good of others. There is usually no direct reward and none is expected when one volunteers.
This year thousands of youth in Ghana volunteered for several activities all over Ghana.

There were over a 100 registered activities from Accra all the way to Tumu, Wa and Nankpaduri in the northern and upper regions. Volunteers engaged in blood donation drives, clean up exercises, reading clinics, painting public buildings and visiting orphanages and hospitals whilst making donations.

There was no age limit to the beneficiaries of volunteer activities which ranged from newborn babies in orphanages, mothers in maternal centers, children in orphanages and old people in aged canters and one volunteer group is reported to have even helped fetch water for the old ladies in the witches camp in Gambaga.

Yes! You read right. Witches camp in Gambaga.

Volunteerism is giving of oneself devoid of discrimination and it is just to help out and the rewards lie in the sense of fulfillment that you get akin to when you commit an act of kindness.

This year #NVDay15 was marked in a whole weekend because the founders day itself fell on a Monday. Volunteer activities therefore started on the Friday with various activities all over the nation. It is reported that one group constructed a whole building structure in the Omanjor to serve as a training hub for some students. Some volunteers also went to teach basic computer skills in a junior high school in cape coast, others had cleanup activities and others also painted public buildings.

In Tamale, the Read/Write clinic organized by the African Young Writers Organization (AWYO) organized a special clinic for children from the Tamale Metropolis who frequent the library at weekends. This one was a special Founders Day edition where special reading skills and creative writing lessons were taught. The children were given mentorship and motivation moments by several mentors and being in the northern region the focus was more on the girl child education. There was a boost in the program with The League of Young Female Leaders, an NGO focusing on mentoring young women in the north to achieve their potential, joining the clinic and motivating the young girls participating in the clinic.

The clinic climaxed on a high note with a poetry recital where the best poems were taken from the creative writing session and the writers read their poems to the hearing of all present. Suffice it to say being a Founders Day Clinic the focus was on Nkrumah and a young girl of 12 years wowed everyone with her poem which she wrote in less than ten minutes into the exercise.

Let me not cheat you out of enjoying the poem but replicate it here for you to be the judge as to if it is a good poem and enjoy it:

Wonderful Nkrumah
Oh wonderful Nkrumah
Who can be like you
You were a man of peace
A man of justice
You were a hero
When my beloved nation Ghana was in pieces
You brought peace
When our right was being abused
You fought for freedom
How can we ever thank you
Man of peace
Man of justice and
Man of freedom
My right hand will always be on my chest
Just for you Nkrumah
Thank you.

Abubakar Ruhaina, JSS 2, Tamale.
For this she won herself a story book.

There were also trivia questions on Nkrumah for which when the questions were answered right the children won story books from #iBelieveInReading and the children and volunteers alike learnt a lot during the session. Since every volunteering session is in the interest of national development we sang the national youth anthem with the children and the young voices resonating with Arise Ghana Youth for Your Country was a moving moment.

Read/Write Clinic #nvDay Edition

Read/Write Clinic #nvDay Edition

A day of rest and it was the Founders Day proper. Activities lined up included a cleanup of the Tamale Central main taxi rank and then a visit to the orphanage to make a donation and spend time with the children and then a visit to the children’s ward at the Tamale West Hospital to read to the children. What an exciting day it was.
At the orphanage the babies I carried had a profound impact on me. There was this one little boy barely two years old who just sat alone in the corner whilst most people made a fuss about the cute newborns in the orphanage. He just sat there and when I went to sit in front of him without talking but tweeting away on my tablet, we just sat there, two lonely souls oblivious to the world around us.

I could relate to how this little boy was feeling because there have been times when I was surrounded by many people yet felt so lonely than ever before. We just understood each other and sat there. Finally when I reached out to him he just lifted his arms out to be carried and then we joined the others in the little room set aside for spending time with the children. We had all along been sitting outside the room in the middle of the corridor.

When we finally joined the rest he spent his whole time sitting in my lap and whenever somebody tried to take him off me, he would cry to be left alone. We just sat there most of the time and when refreshments were brought he didn’t have to tell me to put the straw in his juice for him, he just offered it for me to do it for him. We just understood each other and I was so taken by this little quiet boy barely two years old.

At the Orphanage

At the Orphanage

Away from the orphanage, a similar incident happened at the children’s ward when I took a sick child from the mother to console whilst health attendants put a drip in his hand and he was crying. The whole time I held him close he kept quiet and allowed the attendants to take care of him wordelessly but when his mother had to take him to give him medicine and later breast milk the little one burst out crying and hanged on tighter to me.

Finally I had to coax him that I will be back and went to another sick child to read a picture book to so he could eat his food. I was overwhelmed when the mother smiled in gratitude to say that it has been difficult for him to eat in his sickness and that the picture book helped and he ate a whole bowl of tuo zaafi which had been his heaviest meal in three days.

The mother’s thank you moved me to tears and I was overwhelmed.

Volunteering is giving oneself to the benefit of others and the various stories from all over the country as was trending on social media really got to me on the long weekend.

One person at a time, one event at a time, one location at a time, one act at a time, we had managed to make an impact on thousands of lives in this nation and beyond. We had contributed our quota as youth in a country that we so love by our selfless acts.

National volunteer day #NVDay15 had been worth it and even though in many aspects there was no monetary or even material gain, the results were tangible and volunteers were left with a sense of fulfillment of doing something worthwhile.

If you missed the national volunteer day, let me remind you that it doesn’t take a special day to go out there and try to make a difference. There are various causes around you to support. Start a cause of support a cause and give off a part of yourself to commit to it. The rewards are overwhelming no matter your status or stature.

The development of this country is not really in the hands of the government, who can only do what they can but in actual fact is in your hands.

Just do it.

Like I always say, it begins with YOU!

3 Responses to “VolunteerDay2015”

  1. […] a success; this year over hundreds projects and many success stories (check out #NVDay15 and this blog for a small taste). Their ambitions are way beyond one day a year though and they currently have […]

  2. […] such a success; this year over hundreds projects and many success stories (check out #NVDay15 and this blog for a small taste). Their ambitions are way beyond one day a year though and they currently have […]

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