From: USA
Age: 20

Overall my experience at the orphanage was truly wonderful, and I would not trade it for anything, despite its challenges and obstacles. Arriving in Ghana for my volunteer trip to work in an orphanage, I learned one thing right away, never expect things to go the way you had intended. This is an important lesson in life, and has always been very hard for me. So on the first day right away I was challenged with things not going the way I had imagined them to go.

sophia

Overall my time spent in Ghana was a continual theme, which came up, and I think the challenge it presented to me and having to overcome it will benefit me in the rest of my life. I came to Ghana to really work hard in an orphanage, so I really wanted to give it all that I had. I got up early and made sure I was there all day, to get the full experience. It was definitely not the kind of experience I had imagined at all, but after the first couple of days I adjusted and found my groove and realized that the best I can do is give it my all.

Give the children all the love I can, teach them as much as I can, communicate in the best way that I can and show up and be there for the children in the time I had dedicated to them. By the third day volunteering at the orphanage I really started to see the small difference I was making and the bonding that was occurring between the children and me. Many of the children yearned to be held and loved and sometimes that was the best thing I could do for them, was just to hold them. As each day passed the children really began to attach to me and were calling me by name and always swarming around me like a school of fish.

One memorable moment I remember is when I was trying to teach the children about gentle touch, and patting or rubbing the shoulder to get my attention, instead of hitting or pulling aggressively. This was a hard lesson for them, as in their culture they are used to rough handling and gentle touch does not really exist. As I explained to them how to do it, and that I like it better than being pulled on very hardly, they really understood and started helping each other out by reminding each other and demonstrating it on me. It was really sweet to see how one girl showed another one what a ” gentle touch” was and how quickly she responded and started doing it that way.

Overall my experience at the orphanage was truly wonderful, and I would not trade it for anything, despite its challenges and obstacles. It was an experience I put myself into and I think it has made me a stronger, more adaptable person because of it. I am glad to have been able to share something with the children and hope that the time I spent with them will leave some kind of impression or memory in there minds to carry with them for the rest of there lives. Ghana is an amazing country, rich with culture, flavor and excitement. There was never a dull moment in Ghana and my time here has enriched my life in a very positive way.

By Sophia Metzner - At the end of my program I left this report for uVolunteer. I hope it helps future volunteers have a good understanding about the uVolunteer program. I've also allowed uVolunteer to give out my email address to those interested in asking me questions about my trip and the uVolunteer program.


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