A Partner West Africa Testimonial
Testimonial 60 of 102
PWA Volunteer Milla working to enable children to access education in Ghana, West Africa

Milla - Finland

Programme Completed: New - The PWA Daycare & Nursery Centre

Date Posted: 23/09/2015

Wow, I cannot believe my five weeks of volunteering for Partner West Africa (PWA) in Ghana are almost over! It is such a cliché but my time here has gone by very fast. At first, many things felt quite overwhelming and I did not know whether I liked it or not, but soon enough I became very fond of this place, and now I am sad to leave it behind.

"Wow, I cannot believe my five weeks of volunteering for Partner West Africa (PWA) in Ghana are almost over! It is such a cliché but my time here has gone by very fast. At first, many things felt quite overwhelming and I did not know whether I liked it or not, but soon enough I became very fond of this place, and now I am sad to leave it behind. Ghanaian people are welcoming and friendly, and they like to laugh a lot. It is the local people who have made liking this place so easy. 
 
I have been very comfortable at the PWA compound and volunteer guest house. It is clean and spacious, and there are places for relaxing both inside the house and in the garden. I have also felt safe at the compound; it is well protected from intruders -human and animals. The best thing, however, are the dogs in the compound! There are four wonderfully energetic dogs living in the garden who are always ready to get their bellies scratched. The only thing that I have really missed here, apart from my family and friends, is my local food. Local food here, while very tasty, is also oily and carbohydrate based; I'm looking forward to having some nice vegetables and a little bit of good meat when I get home! 
 
Being part of the PWA team is almost like being part of a family; the people here are caring and easy to work with. Humour and lots of laughing have been part of our daily lives and work here. Almost daily meetings with the whole team made sure we were aware of everything that was happening, and possible problems are voiced freely and listened to. The few problems that did arise were dealt with carefully, and keeping the volunteers' comfort in mind. I wanted to volunteer for PWA because of its ethical principles in not offering holidays for voluntourists but actually doing valuable work, and using the money in the organisation, rather than to make the owners rich. My time here has shown me that this is what really happens in practice; I have seen how the organisation works, and how the money is always put to use for the benefit of the children in the nursery and on other PWA projects. 
 
For the last 5 weeks I have been working mainly with admissions to the PWA Daycare and Nursery Centre for vulnerable children. This work has included a lot of activity visiting the local community of Oshieye: informing parents of the admissions process, interviewing them and trying to identify the most vulnerable or in need children, who would benefit the most from a place under PWA's care. It has been a very interesting, thought provoking, and educating experience to work closely with the people of Oshieye, and get a glimpse of their lives. 
 
The most powerful experience for me was definitely our team's visit to Agbogbloshie (previously known locally as Sodom and Gomorrah, which explains a lot!). It is a polluted slum/shanty area in Accra filled by litter, ash and smoke from burning electronic devices dumped in Ghana from other countries. It was horrible to see people living in this environment, and very surprising to notice that most of them greeted us with a smile, rather than misery, which you might expect. We visited a lady, Amina, who is supported by PWA to keep a nursery in her one room house. She currently takes care of 43 children, washes and feeds them, so that their parents can go to work. All of this she does with almost no resources, by charging a small fee from those parents who can afford it, and without charging anything from the families that cannot afford to pay anything! This incredible selflessness and hard work for the benefit of others really touched me, and I will remember this amazing lady for the rest of my life. 
 
If you are thinking of volunteering for PWA or just travelling to Ghana, I definitely recommend it! Here are my top tips for the lucky ones coming here:
 
  1. Come with a flexible and mellow attitude. Ghana is full of surprises and generally things take longer than you might be used to. For example, work can take longer than you expect because of frequent power cuts. Just enjoy the ride and lie in a hammock when things are going slow. 
  2. Be prepared for cultural differences. There have been some funny and surprising moments when encountering local people, for example it is common for children to shout 'Obruni' ('white person!)' when they saw me, and as a woman I have received countless marriage proposals. There has not been anything that couldn't be managed with some sense of humour, though. 
  3. Finally, bring ear plugs with you! The Ghanaians like to party and play loud music all night long, and if the music is not playing in the night, it will start around 5 am in the morning.   So good ear plugs may come in handy, because even without the music, you might have a room-mate who snores!
 
My visit here has taught me so much, and I am grateful to everyone that I met. I want to especially thank Bintu, Inusah, Matt, Kofi, Regina, the nursery teachers, Coco, Bitey, Oshie, Aya, and all the lovely volunteers! 
 
Milla"
 
 
How can you help?
  • If you would like to also volunteer at the PWA Daycare and Nursery Centre, please click here.
  • If you would like to volunteer or partner with PWA on any of our other projects or programmes, please click here.
  • If you would like to make a donation, of any amount, on a one-off or monthly basis, to the PWA Daycare and Nursery Centre, please click here.
  • If you would like to make a general donation, either on a one-off or monthly basis to our charity, please click on one of the three 'Donation Payment Methods' boxes below. 
  • If you would like to support our charity in any other way - for example by donating goods like children's clothes or materials like mosquito nets, or helping us promote our charity through social media or identifying like-minded potential partners - please download the 'How you can support  us' Brief which is located in the introduction text of our Donate Page here.
  • Or, finally, if you would like to talk to our team about any other issue regarding our charity, our projects, or our volunteering & partnership opportunities, please click here.

Thank you

Donation Payment Methods

CharityCheckout

Charity Checkout accepts all major debit and credit cards and allows you to make one-off or monthly donations that will be used to support our charity in general, so if you would like to donate to a specific appeal, or become a sponsor of our Daycare & Nursery Centre, please follow the donation information provided within those specific appeals. All donations to PWA are regulated by the UK Charities Commission and in line with our Terms & Conditions. Thank you.

JustGiving

JustGiving is a great fundraising site for friends of our charity who would like to set up their own fundraising pages, alllowing your friends and family to donate towards your specific project, aims or objectives with PWA. If you set up a JustGiving fundraising page, you describe your story and reasons for supporting PWA & your donors can link through to PWA's JustGiving page to learn about our charity & its work. All donations are regulated by the UK Charities Commission and made in line with our Terms & Conditions. Thank you.

Direct Bank-to-Bank Transfers

PWA banks with the Co-operative Bank, UK, the leading bank for charitable organisations. If you are a UK or international bank account holder, donations can be made quickly & simply online. You can also use this method to make one-off donations or to set up monthly donations to our charity. Please contact us to request our bank account details to set up a bank transfer. All donations made to PWA are regulated by the UK Charities Commission & made in-line with our Terms & Conditions. Thank you.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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