A Partner West Africa Testimonial
Testimonial 98 of 102
Ethical volunteering and work placements with vulnerable children in Ghana, West Africa

Matt - Australia

Programme Completed: New - The PWA Daycare & Nursery Centre

Date Posted: 08/01/2014

the time we spent with PWA without wanting to sound cliché, was truly life changing whilst also extremely challenging but in a positive soul building way. I feel privileged to have been part of the work PWA is doing to bring education and resources to the families in West Africa and I can only wish them all the success in the future, we will be back, I can assure you of that!

"My wife Annie and I had the pleasure of a volunteer placement at Partner West Africa (PWA) [through their internal volunteering department: Volunteer West Africa] in January this year and the profound impact it had on us both has meant I just had to share my experiences for anyone who may be considering volunteering in Africa.

Upon arrival at the PWA compound I have to say I was very surprised by the standard of the accommodation for a volunteer guest house in West Africa. The room was well equipped and very clean and we immediately felt comfortable and more importantly very safe with the security of the compound. With smiles and such friendly greetings from Kofi the caretaker and Ramatu the house manager not to mention the house dogs Koko and Bite (who kept us laughing every day!) we were excited about what laid ahead for us.

During our stay we assisted and observed many of the projects that PWA is involved in within the local area of Kokrobite and beyond, but I wanted to touch on just of few of these that really connected with us emotionally and also gave us great insight into what PWA has managed to achieve in such short timeframes.

One of the first projects we were involved in was a tour of a shanty town in the James Town area where PWA were meeting members of the community and also aligning with other organisations to try and assist in changing some of the heart breaking  conditions far too many children live in and face illness and abuse. What immediately struck me about the PWA team was the professionalism of their engagements but also the number of connections they have already made within the community. We were welcomed into the area which such warmth by families that have nothing and got to meet an astonishing lady who cared for over 20 young children everyday whilst their mothers work 16 hour days as porters for the local markets. The overall experience was a lot to take in and digest but the knowledge and overall caring nature of the PWA team that assisted us really helped us through what was truly astonishing examples of great poverty. I should also mention the security, as we were in an area where people really do have nothing but not at any time did we feel threatened and that is testament to the team: PWA made sure we were safe and comfortable at all times.

Another project we assisted with was with a nursery in Oshieye supported by Partner West Africa and managed day-to-day by Momma Felicia. Now, this is a project PWA has been involved in for some time with the main aim to get children into the education system at a young age to give them the best possible opportunities to succeed. Momma Felicia looks after approximately 40 under 4 year olds every day and I was truly warmed by the joy and the happiness the children had within her care and her dedication to do anything she can for them. As part of this project we visited the town of Oshieye and went to the homes which these children come from, and this is one of the poorest parts of this region. Whilst here, we met numerous children with one little girl in particular touching our hearts. Akweley is a 3 year old girl who looks around 18 months old at most, this is due to malnutrition and it was heart breaking to see such a young child in such a condition as we also later found out was suffering with Malaria. The PWA team and Mama Felicia acted quickly and swiftly to get Akweley some food and care and create an instant health plan to how they could assist with her recovery and I truly believe saved her life. I will be in contact with the PWA team to follow her progress over the coming months.

The last project I want to share is our visit to an ongoing piece of work for PWA and that is with the Opeikuma community. PWA has been engaged with Opeikuma for some time now and it was great to see a project that was in full flow and being received and embraced by the community itself. PWA has supplied the local school with computers and also assisted in a project to plant over 200 trees in the local area in association with the school to teach the Children the impact of deforestation on the area and the importance of conservation. The village itself was the most traditional African village we travelled through in our time and was so enjoyable. The highlight being we were fortunate enough to meet with the Chief, 'Nana', and what an experience that was, he was so warm and welcoming and you could see how much respect he had for the PWA team and in particular Matt the Director and that is testament to the work Partner West Africa have done to date.

I cannot speak highly enough of the PWA team and how much they enhanced every moment we spent volunteering in Ghana this year and they are all missed by us on a daily basis. 'Chille' is the volunteer co-ordinater and what Chille doesn't know about the areas in which PWA work is not worth knowing! We found him to be informative but most of all approachable and of such a kind nature. 'Big Chris', his name says it all and he is responsible for security of the PWA team. Chris has a heart of gold but a presence that made us feel safe at all times and is a true asset to the PWA team. 'Inusah', project manager and a true example of a man with a huge heart, he is a family man himself but approaches the projects PWA are working on and the children involved like they are his own. And then finally there is Matt who is the Director of the organisation but is hands on with every project PWA work on. Matt is and should be an inspiration to anyone reading this, through our interactions I learnt about his background and what sacrifices he has made to make PWA work. PWA is his passion and his life and he will make sure that PWA is the most effective and beneficial NGO in West Africa over the coming years I am sure.

To sum up, the time we spent with PWA without wanting to sound cliché, was truly life changing whilst also extremely challenging but in a positive soul building way. I feel privileged to have been part of the work PWA is doing to bring education and resources to the families in West Africa and I can only wish them all the success in the future, we will be back, I can assure you of that!

Matt"

 
How can you help?
  • If you would like to volunteer or partner with PWA on any of our projects or programmes, 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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