New Volunteer at YHFG – Daniela Heiß writes about her first impressions

Daniela at her host family

My name is Daniela and I am 25 years old. After my Bachelor Degree in Social Work I am in the Master Program called Applied Health Science. My dream was to go abroad for some months and gaining some experiences in research work. After many hours and days searching for a suitable country and program, I was really lucky that I found the webpage of the JugendPartnerschaft Ghana e.V. Only 2,5 months later I arrived in Bolgatanga, Ghana at their partner organization Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana. Because of the short time of preparations the visa application took a lot of nerves. At this point I’d like to thank the JPG and the YHFG for their great support.

For me it was the first time travelling alone. I had the courage to try, however I was really nervous and sometimes afraid. Nevertheless I did it. I think it will be one of the best times in my life.

Here at the Youth Harvest Foundations I can do exactly this kind of research I wanted to do. I am going to interview students of the Girls Remedial School to evaluate the Remedial School Program. I’m interested in their opinions about the lessons and the whole program. But I won’t only interview the girls. I am going to interview some teachers as well to get a more comprehensive perspective. Before the interviews will start I want to join some classes to get an insight in the lessons first, which might help to develop the guiding questions for the interviews.

There is another volunteer from Holland at the Youth Harvest Foundation. In our spare time we are relaxing at the swimming pool or we are travelling around Bolgatanga.

During the three months I stay at a Ghanaian host family. Even if they live in really poor conditions I couldn’t have a better time somewhere else. It is a great chance to learn how to manage life without all luxurious things which are not necessary for survival. The big family gives me all I need. Beside the local food there is always someone to joke with, someone to talk with, someone to discuss with, someone I can listen to and even a baby I could take care of. Since the first day I’m part of the family which means I could join them going to church, to funerals, to the market and to do some trips. Yesterday I’ve learned that even the former volunteers are my siblings now. What a nice feeling and way of thinking.

So if you’re thinking about going abroad, just do it. I definitively can recommend JPG and YHFG here in Bolga. And remember the words of John A. Shedd: A ship in harbor is safe but that’s not what ships are built for.

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