Dear Nii Kpakpo,
just recently another Founder’s Day passed and as usual it was declared a holiday in Ghana. this is the day that has been put aside also as a National Volunteers Day by the GhanaThink Foundation where people are encouraged to get out of their comfort zones and do an activity voluntarily to help their communities. these activities could be any activity that persons recognized as could benefit the society either communally or in general.
several activities were lined up countrywide and these activities included cleaning up designated areas such as lorry parks, town centre or beaches, health awareness walks, health screening and blood donations, donations to orphanages and spending time with the orphans, spending time with basic school children teaching basic ICT skills, rehabilitating school buildings and painting and even community outreaches among several others.
Kpakpo in the savanna for example various activities were lined up to cover several days since the day itself was on a Wednesday and activities were lined up both for the day itself and for the Saturday at the weekend.
For the Wednesday there was a clean up and health awareness walk in the center of Tamale where the main taxi rank area was cleaned to the market area. the health walk was to create awareness on some female diseases where health personnel gave seminars on personal hygiene and how to prevent some female diseases.
the main activity however was the painting of a six classroom block of a basic school in a community in Tamale. anyemi, the people that came out to paint was a motley crew of various professionals and down to earth people who on a regular day will not don overalls or even carry paint brushes but for the sake of volunteerism came out to spend time painting the community school.
Kpakpo, i would lie if i said it wasn’t fun. whilst we painted, various discussions went on with regards to various issues and it was also a time for networking.
after the introductions fellow volunteers just walked up to each other and amidst the banter and lively camaraderie the painting went on. the clothes designer interacted with the lovely women who could be models for his clothing, whilst also keeping a conversation with the award winning photographer to be featured on his blog and the celebrity feature blogger was busy soliciting for a supply of eggs and gizzard from the poultry farmer volunteer whose little two year old boy was being attended to by the high school graduate waiting for her results to go into the university.
the aid worker was being teased that she had missed her calling as a painter or an artist whilst the author showed obvious signs of his childhood forays and his bald head bobbed up and down holding a very long scroll brush painting the upper parts of the wall whilst the tallest painting volunteer was concentrating on putting the Bluetooth music speakers at a point where they would have the most effect so there was music to dance, sing or hum to whilst painting. Kpakpo, i am not forgetting the Hub incubator entrepreneur who’s first act on reaching the painting site was to spread out his waakye and eat first, claiming that without energy no work could be done.
now you understand when i say it was a motley crew of volunteers out to have fun whilst doing something worthwhile for the community. the headmaster of the school was very grateful for the gesture.
Nii Kpakpo Thompson, the activities planned for the weekend included a graduation of the Reading Clinic children and i hear it went pretty well. these children had undergone four months of being taken through reading and writing skills to not only equip them for academia but also be peer mentors in their various communities.
the Founders Day initiative of volunteering on that day has come to stay and for some of us it is not only a one day activity but a daily one for us as we go through our lives getting out of our comfort zones and giving back to the community in any way we can whilst also supporting various initiatives we believe in. let us invite more people to find a cause they can support one way or the other both materially and financially. there are so many causes out there.
well i am done here. till i write to you again let us keep spreading the word of volunteerism and instill the spirit in other people.
i still remain
your cousin in law