My dear friend Mana and I traveled to Ghana for the first time in August 2009. After a one week introduction in Accra, we arrived in a village in the Eastern region to volunteer at an orphanage there for three months. On the first day we were asked by Maa Philo, the proprietor, to teach the 24 children at the orphanage during their break from school. There was one classroom at the orphanage and the children were ranging in ages 2-18. You can imagine that we had to use all our imagination and resourcefulness to design lessons during which we could teach each and every one of the kids something. It was definitely not an easy experience, but a very rewarding one, and because of the support we had in each other as teachers I would say we did a quite decent job.
It was after this time spent at the orphanage that I made up my mind to become an early childhood educator. On the return back home in Sweden I enrolled in a 3.5 year program at the university, and got my degree. The desire to do something meaningful for “our” kids and contributing to a brighter future has been with me ever since.
Now that I’m back here in Ghana my motivation is to found and run a strong business, offering competitive products to customers worldwide. By doing this, I’m planning to invest in a better future for the children. Parts of the profit from the business will be invested in a foundation for the children at the orphanage, to support their schooling, health care and general well-being (my aim is to allocate 50% of the profit to the foundation and the other 50% to be reinvested in the business, but this might be revised later on depending on how the business is growing).
Two of the children from the orphanage have already moved on to SHS (Senior High School), which typically in Ghana is boarding school and involves a lot of fees. So far we have managed with donations collected by former volunteers in Germany and Sweden, but with this business and the foundation I want to set up a more sustainable way of providing for the children. In the next years a number of children are about to graduate from JHS (Junior High School). I want us to be able to see them all through SHS, and in the long run maybe even university.