My week in Lawra
We are incredibly grateful to Adam Quinn and his family; they have been supporting ATE and spreading awareness of our work in Hungerford for a long time now. But when they told us they told us they wanted to be even more involved, we were delighted! They booked a trip to Ghana, fundraised a terrific amount, made videos of their experiences and collected testimonies of students, farmers and small business owners who partner with ATE. Their level of involvement has been really fantastic! Reading Adam’s reflections on his visit to Lawra below (also his first time on the African continent) it is heartening to learn of how this trip touched and impacted him.
Going into this week, I had no idea what to expect. I knew roughly what kind of work we would be doing, but I was not prepared for the actual experience. The first thing that struck me was the heat, and the different types of heat. When we landed in Accra, we were blasted with strong, heavy humidity, however the heat in Lawra was much dryer and more intense. Another thing I wasn’t expecting were the similarities between my life and the lives of those in Lawra. The children my age study the same subjects at school, watch similar tv shows and play the same sports, among other similarities. This struck a chord with me as it allowed me to strongly empathise with the people there and attempt to relate to the struggles on some level.
The hardest thing I found over the week was battling the elements and the environment to accomplish any tasks. Even with air conditioning, sun-cream, insect repellent and many other helpful items, I was struggling every day to sometimes even accomplish basic tasks with conviction. I can only imagine what it’s like for people who live in those environments and don’t have all the help I did.
Saying that, I did enjoy myself. The community spirit we discovered in Lawra was touching, and I really enjoyed getting to know everyone. That is definitely something we don’t have in England, everyone is so much more connected with the people around them than we are. We have some things to learn from them. Another thing I enjoyed was seeing new things I’d never seen before and wouldn’t be able to in England. The landscapes are beautiful and the sheer amount of wildlife makes the English countryside seem bleak in comparison. I can see the challenges the environment presents the locals, but coming as an outsider, I was able to appreciate it.
Since returning, Adam’s mum, Penny Locke, has made it her mission to continue spreading awareness and growing support for ATE in her local area, Hungerford. As part of this she has been reaching out to community groups to show the videos she has created and speak about her experiences; she has created her Fabulous 50 club – a group of fifty new supporters making a monthly gift of £5 to ATE. Enough to feed one school child for a whole month! Read about Penny’s experiences in Lawra here: http://pennypost.org.uk/2018/02/our-experience-in-ghana/