Alanson came all the way from Southern Ontario, Canada to volunteer with FOA for three months. Here he shares his experience with us!
My last two months in Accra have been characterized by the life-giving community of Future of Africa (FOA).
I have known about Future of Africa since 2016, and their determination to see the end of child poverty has always intrigued me. Bruh TK has been inviting me to come and visit for the past two years. This year I was finally able to come! During my stay I have witnessed, and been inspired by, the efforts FOA puts into breaking societal barriers to develop lasting relationships with marginalized children and youth.
I noticed that the adjustment of moving from the streets to living in Norviwo can sometimes be a difficult transition for children who have lived in street situations. A street resident who moves into Norviwo may have strong survival, self-sufficiency, and perseverance skills, however, they often need to grow in areas of emotional, physical, and social skills.
In order to facilitate learning these skills, staff engage residents in programs, activities, and lessons to encourage habits and behaviours that will positively impact their futures.
At the heart of FOA is the intention for staff to develop supportive relationship with residents. When new residents arrive at Norviwo, they are often unsure of how to interact with others due to the new environment, but their hunger for connection is evident. The street residents are invited to take a break from the stresses of street life for the day, or live permanently as a resident at the Norviwo Community Centre.
Residents are often eager for the chance to dance, play a round of the card game Uno, go for a walk, throw a ball around, dance, read, play football, or take a trip to the market. Through each of these interactions relationships are building and facilitating increased trust, support, and healing.
FOA is following through with its mission to build positive character for lifelong well-being and livelihood. FOA have chosen to love and value the lives of street residents even if these kids do not love or value themselves
I am so glad to have experienced an organization like FOA who is willing to search for the answers to these difficult questions and take the time to fight the long fight alongside children and youth living in street situations.
When I think back on the past three months, the highlight of my time with FOA has been the collective time spent with Norviwo and street residents during Wellness Wednesday or Outreach programs. FOA is following through with its mission to build positive character for lifelong well-being and livelihood. FOA have chosen to love and value the lives of street residents even if these kids do not love or value themselves.
I will carry the memories for the rest of my life, as well as lessons I have learned from people’s resilience, love, and hope for a better tomorrow.
[written by Alanson Horst]