MC Gives Back culminated its last of 4 trips in 2017 with a trans-Atlantic flight for 9 “characters with character” with the goals to band together, sweat and work hard, and help children in rural West Africa have improved education facilities at their community school. The group set out for a week’s time to Ghana, Africa to contribute to a school’s most evident needs, a new computer lab and washroom.
The team began planning this trip nearly a year ago, and worked closely with IVHQ Ghana, the agency who provided local coordination and support for the work to be done at the school. IVHQ staff did an incredible job of setting up the team for success, with basic language training, cultural orientation, transport, housing, construction foremen, and continuous guidance for a safe, productive, and spectacularly memorable experience for the MC staff that took part in the trip.
I could see in the eyes of the children and adults a unique hope and optimism that surprised me. Despite their lack of running water and many comforts others have, these people are generally happy, gracious, and are good-natured and caring towards others.
As the team reflected on their experience and shared notable memories and learnings, three things were thematic among the group:
- “Education (and bathrooms) are so critical to economic progress. Ghana’s society places high value on education and nearly every kid in these communities goes to school. This is not the case in many other parts of Africa, where conflict and corruption are prevalent. Washrooms are especially critical for girls, where lack of suitable facilities keeps them from feeling comfortable going to school.”
- “I feel we had a positive impact on the foremen, Ebow and Godfred. While at first they were stoic, heads-down and focused on the work to be done, we broke through and had them smiling and laughing with us by day two, and shared some very special memories together. The work required much more hand and back work than our regular desk jobs, but we hung with the foremen as best we could and they seemed to be glad to have our willing help, our silly comments, and our contributions to their school.”
- “I could see in the eyes of the children and adults a unique hope and optimism that surprised me. Despite their lack of running water and many comforts others have, these people are generally happy, gracious, and are good-natured and caring towards others. The locals were exceptionally welcoming to us, and couldn’t help but affectionately call out “Oburoni” (foreigner) wherever we went.”
After arriving in Accra, Ghana’s capital, the team shuttled two hours north towards Asempaneye, a small rural community with a grade school of 90 kids in 6 classrooms. The group formed two teams and successfully tackled two projects, wall plastering of a nearly complete computer lab, and construction of two new bathrooms to replace an old non-operational one. It was hard work for everyone, hand mixing mortar, shoveling sand, and stacking brick, all for the goals of improving the school’s facilities, and the team did it all with positive spirits, smiles and laughs alongside their Ghanaian foremen, Ebow and Godfred.
In addition to the construction work, the group played a soccer match under the hot African sun, and gave gifts to the students and teachers including school supplies, first aid supplies, and of course, candies.
Other Gives Back Trips
And with that, our 2017 calendar has come to an end! Be sure to read about our other trips from this year, and stay tuned for info on our 2018 trips!
YMCA Camp Na-Na-Bo-Sho
Maintenance Connection is a rapidly-growing company that is leading the way in Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS).
To learn how Maintenance Connection can save your organization millions of dollars in maintenance costs, visit http://www.MaintenanceConnection.com