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Youth Trip to Ghana 2009

Ghana Youth Trips

A group of nine young people from Selsdon Baptist visited Ghana for 10 days in July 2009, working with International Needs to serve the local people. Here are pictures and reports from those who went.

Another trip Is planned for 2011

Rebecca Hassel

Ten days was never going to be enough! Leaving Ghana was really hard but I came away feeling hugely inspired by the love and faith and hope of the people we met. I can’t wait to go back…

My best bit

The whole experience was unforgettable and it was made all the more enjoyable because of the team – such a great group of people with many hilarious memories made and lengthy games of cards had by all. If I had to state my ‘best bit’? It would definitely be how inspiring the International Needs project workers are. Of course, my heart melted whenever one of the children ran up to me for a hug but what I particularly admire is the long term vision of the projects: girls at the Vocational Training Centre are equipped with skills and materials to sustain their own businesses; children at the schools receive an education to enable them to reach their full potential in life and those at the Women’s Advocacy Project are empowered by the knowledge and understanding of their rights. Even though we were only in Ghana for a short time, the work of International Needs continues to grow and develop and ultimately change the lives of so many people.

What I have learnt

Ro takes an awful photo, Jenny has the most eclectic taste in music, Sarah is the Grand Master, Matthew is a secret Il Divo fan (ssh), Rowena is like the Pied Piper of Hamlyn, Emmanuel has an amazing laugh, Rob is pretty special on the djembe and Jack will eat pretty much anything. In addition I’ve learnt how unifying the love of God is – meeting others who shared our faith was an amazing experience and our different languages and cultures posed no barriers thanks to our underlying beliefs.

Emmanuel Bamgboye

Going to Ghana, I was excited because I had never been there before and I did not know exactly what it was going to be like. However we were welcomed into the country and we stayed there for 10 days. We went on the canopy in Kakum Forsest and attended a guided tour of the Cape Coast Castle, learning about the slave trade and where slaves were taken through the door of no return. Additionally we were treated to Ada Beach - which we took a canoe to.

The hospitality, I felt, was excellent; the food was very good and consisted mainly of rice, chips, chicken, and local dishes. One highlight of the trip was visiting the restaurant with crocodiles surrounding it - which was interesting.

In Adidome we painted the residence at the training camp of the woman who had been in Trokosi and were now being taught a trade. It was hard work, but I was amazed at how much painting we did and how well we all worked together as a team.

The experience of going to the local school where we were able to meet the children was amazing. Their energy, enthusiasm and excitement was overwhelming. They were so excited to see us and it was just good to be there among them to teach.

Overall we were able to do not only some work in Ghana but to reach out in a level which I had not imagined. It was a lifechanging experience for me. The sights, people, food, weather, bumpy roads, relaxing evenings and reflections were amazing.

Sarah Wheeler

Ten days in Ghana, a lifetime in our hearts; Ghana was a truly inspiring experience, and one I would like to repeat in the near future. There were so many great things that happened whilst we were out there; every day was full of new experiences, but to choose a few…

Seeing the work of International Needs in Ghana was amazing. The passion these people have for the projects they are carrying out is inspirational, and a real eye-opener to what really matters. Towards the end of our trip we visited the village of Ative where a women’s rights forum was taking place, and it was incredible to see children about my age or younger speaking so passionately on the subject of the rights of girls to an education. It was also great staying at the Adidome guest house and looking around at the great work that is done there to ensure girls are learning the skills they need to get back into society and earn money.

Whilst all this was great to see, the time we spent at Kpogede doing the kids club will be a memory that will always stay close to my heart. How blessed we were to meet such amazing children and to be able to spend time with them sharing God’s word and having fun. My initial worries and anxieties over language barriers and how the children would receive us immediately dissolved as soon as we stepped out of the van and had over one hundred excited children running at us.

To know that we made a difference in their lives just by being there and playing games with them is so amazing. I would have loved to have spent more time with them; I couldn’t believe how hard it was to leave on the last day, knowing that we weren’t going to see them again. That feeling is one that is so hard to describe to people back home.

This experience has taught me so much – we get told all the time that we have so much, and that we take it all for granted, but sometimes I think you have to see things to believe them. I have also learnt that vitamin B tablets work a treat if you don’t want to get bitten (I was the only one to not get bitten, I thank you) and that rice isn’t so bad after all - but I haven’t touched the stuff since I’ve got home!

I miss Ghana so much and I am so grateful that I had this opportunity to make a difference. I thank the whole team for making it such a worthwhile experience.

Roland King

On Wednesday 22nd July the SBC youth mission team set their sights on Ghana. All the fundraising and talking had been done and we were ready for the off.

We arrived at a warm and sticky Accra International airport only an hour late! We spent the first few days exploring the cape coast and Kakum forest reserve. We learnt about how people were sold as slaves and how they were treated at Cape Coast Castle hundreds of years ago. We were only a week late after President Obama’s visit!

We spent some time walking among the high canopies of the forest reserve and then had some lunch with some crocodiles. We even managed to touch them for a small fee!

We then travelled onto Adidome and the IN vocational training centre. Here we stayed in very good accommodation whilst we painted the dorms of the girls who were resident. Here we saw the conditions they stayed in and what they were being trained to do. On the Sunday we went to an outside church service at Kpogede, where Ro shared a message with only 30 minutes preparation time, and we sang a couple of songs to the congregation. The afternoon was spent at Ada beach where we played cricket and slept in hammocks!

The next few days we spent decorating the dorms and going to the school at Kpogede where we spent time with the children in the bible club. The moment we got of the mini-bus we were swamped with children who were so happy just to see us! Spending time and talking to the children was an amazing experience for all of us. Seeing the young people respond and interact with the school kids was overwhelming. We played parachute games and football and taught songs and bible verses to them. The children seemed so grateful that we were there. Just receiving a piece of paper and a crayon was a big deal for them. We donated the play parachutes and large balls, which went down very well.

On our return to Accra we stopped of at an equal rights debate and spent some time with a small village called Dgorme. Here IN Ghana have set up a anti-trafficking project. We were met with a traditional dance and after saying our hellos we joined in the dancing and Rob showed of his champion drumming skills! What an amazing experience for everyone!

We all travelled back safely to the UK after a hectic, awesome and wonderful 10 days in Ghana. Meeting the people and seeing a brand new culture was truly a life-transforming experience. If you get a chance to talk to any of the team about it, you will see a change in them. Watch this space for a future trip. Are you ready…?

The Ghana Youth Mission has a group on Facebook: