It is with a blend of gratitude, regret, and excitement that we extend an early welcome home to our Humanist Action: Ghana (HA: Ghana) Ghana volunteers.
First and foremost, our gratitude goes out to Elroy Rigsby-Leday and Chiemi Maloy for their spirit of adventure in making a cross-Atlantic journey to work with HA: Ghana in Cape Coast, Ghana starting last July.
While braving the challenges of adjusting to life in Cape Coast—including overcoming hurdles in language, cultural barriers, and amenities—these volunteers made a very humanist impact in the local community.
The team's work with local partner Services and Advocacy for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (SAPID) included helping in the classroom and supporting SAPID's students in learning and play. Directed by HA: Ghana Ghana Administrator Yvonne Nyahe, Chiemi and Elroy also led community initiatives, including organizing Cape Coast’s first-ever volunteer beach cleanup and a vocational training project organized with local leaders.
Our regret stems from the volunteers’ early departure from Ghana. Originally intended to be a year long, the volunteers’ commitment was cut short this month due to visa complications which were impractical to resolve. We’re glad, however, that the timing of our ultimate decision means that Elroy and Chiemi have returned home in time to spend their holidays with loved ones.
Despite these regrets, we remain excited for the future. We learned much from our experiences with HA: Ghana in 2019, resulting in a renewed dedication to further professionalizing our operations in Ghana. One of these goals includes the hiring of more professional staff in Cape Coast. Your enthusiastic support for FBB—including the tremendous response to our ongoing 2019 Annual Appeal—is rapidly moving us toward these goals every day.
“My time in Ghana has been a weird mix of invigorating, yet sobering; stressful, yet laid back. It’s given me new perspectives on a country far from home, and at the same time has helped me to better understand my own corner of the globe.”
-Elroy Rigsby-Leday, HA: Ghana volunteer