Christmas is coming, and many of us are working hard at various malls across Canada hoping to find sponsors for the beautiful children. I wanted to take the time to introduce myself as I will be writing a series of posts about my life-changing experience in Ghana. My name is Franklyn. Some of you may know me from several campaigns in the city of London last year. I am a recent graduate from Western University, and I am now taking a post-grad at Niagara College. I am currently working at the Pen Centre in St. Catharines.
I was blessed to travel to Africa for my first time at 17. My church had mentioned about putting a team together to go to Kenya, and I pretty much told my mom I was going. Thankfully, she decided that I could not go alone and she joined the team. My mother and I spent just over 2 weeks in Nyahururu, Kenya helping with a children’s summer camp. Three years later, I was provided with another opportunity to travel to Africa. In 2012, I travelled to Kigali, Rwanda with a class of 9 and my professor. I was part of a course offered at Western where we were taught about Rwanda and the genocide in-class then travelled together to Rwanda for 5 weeks. I volunteered at an orphanage/school that was largely impacted by the genocide.
The main focus of this post is actually my most recent experience in Africa. As I was struggling to find my last credit to graduate from my bachelor’s, I discovered the Canadian program Intercordia. Intercordia was started by Jean Vanier to provide university students with a unique, university accredited international experience. Intercordia invites all of us “to become peacemakers by choosing to meet people, who are different than we are, in their community, to live in their homes, to work with alongside them and especially to slow down and hear their life stories” (intercordiacanada.org). They send students to 8 different countries to live with host families and volunteer at different local projects. I was chosen to travel to Ghana for 3 months to live with a beautiful family and teach mathematics at the local government school. I lived on the island of Pediatorkope, across the river from Big Ada. This small island had no access to running water or electricity, but, thanks to World Vision, has a school and clinic. In the next couple of posts, I want to share with you my experiences at my host family’s house and at the school. I hope you enjoy them, and please feel free to use these stories at the booth! I am sure there are some beautiful faces from Ghana.