Just one story

So many times I have difficulty thinking of what to share with all of you on this Blog. There is so much to talk about, good and bad. So much. I have not done a great job thus far sharing with you the stories of some of my close friends out here. So I figured I would allow my friends to let their lives speak for themselves. I had one of my closest friends here answer some questions for me in the hopes that you will learn a bit more about life in Ghana.

This is just one story...

I am a man of 23 years. I grew up in a community in the Western Region of Ghana. When I was growing up I thought life was fun and simple, never thought of anyone having problem and needed someone to help them. The reason was that my parents were providing for my needs, but as time went by things started to change especially when I was in the Junior Secondary School because my father lost his job and life became very difficult. I would sometimes go to school without food not too mention with no money to pay my school fees or registration fees for my final examinations. By the grace of God and through the struggle of my parents, I paid the registration fees and wrote my exams when I was fifteen in 1999.
My exam results came and I was amongst the first five students who did well in my school! All the schools that I chose selected me but there was no money for me to continue my schooling. I was sad because since those who did not do as well as I did started school and I was staying in the house thinking of what I could do to become an electrical engineer – since that is what I decided I want to be as my profession in life. My father tried all the means but to no avail, he decided to take me to a friend of his as a apprentice to learn a trade as an electrician. I went and the saddest part was that my father was told to pay an amount of 20 Ghana Cedis (about $20) for me to start but he could not provide that money. My master had pity on me in the beginning but sacked me on several occasions and commanded me to do a lot of extra work like washing his clothes, including his wife and children’s clothes. I would also have to walk everyday from my community to wash his car at 5am. I would sometimes walk from my place to Takoradi with no food in my stomach and in the evening too. I completed the apprenticeship and served for another two years making it five years total. (The additional two years were because we could not pay the money in the beginning.)But eventually my Father paid the money and I was given a certificate and now I am a master. Interestingly, I never thought of people suffering in this world and never thought of what I can do to help those people who were suffering.
When I completed I decided to go to a Training Centre to learn more about electricals. Now this is when life became very difficult since my father totally lost his job. I had to walk from the house to school(about 5 miles) with no food to eat, but I was determined to achieve my goal and succeed in school. I had no money to pay my school fees or my registration fees. Several times I was sacked from school but I returned secretly to sit in the classroom and study. When I was about to finish my schooling things started to get worse. My father became very sick and was forced to sell all of the things he had worked for over the years, but to no avail. Since I was the oldest among my sisters I decided to get a job to help my father to get well. I got a job in my Auntie’s shop and she was paying me 50 pesewas a day. (about 50 cents) After work instead of using this small money for food and transport costs I would go and buy corn dough from the market for my family to eat because since the morning time they had had nothing to eat. Due to this my sister who was in her second year had to stop schooling and stay in the house to take care of my father. I went on working like this for some time until one day I came home to find my father dead on the 6th of July 2006. I was very disturbed since we didn’t have enough money to bury my father. But God was good to us and through the help of my father’s friends we were able to provide him with a perfect burial. During the funeral many people gave our family money so that we might not suffer, but my Auntie took and spoiled all of it. I was furious with her because when my father was sick my mother went to her for help and she gave us nothing.
From that time on I started to experience what life is. Life has not been easy at all and I am really struggling to take care of my mother and two sisters. I sometimes sit down and ask myself if I was born to suffer. I decided that I would stow away on a ship to anywhere and if I died I died and if I survived I survived.
Fortunately, I ended up getting a job at the school I attended where I make 30 Ghana cedis a month. (about 30 dollars a month) It isn’t enough to survive but by getting other small jobs I am able to provide for my mother and sisters, both of whom are schooling. Even though life is difficult, I know that my redeemer lives and with God all things are possible to those who believe in Him. Though this life is difficult I have finally realized that there are many people who are facing problems which are more difficult than mine, and now I try to spend my time thinking of how I can help those people…I know a time will come when I will be able to help those people.
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What I love about Ghana is the natural beauty of the place and the peace that exists between all its people.
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I am proud to be a Ghanaian, because this is the country that God has made me part of. Since I was born up to this time there has been peace. All people who visit Ghana experience the great sense of hospitality exhibited by all Ghanaians. This makes me proud.
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Some of the things of which I don’t like about being a Ghanaian are that a lot of people have money mainly politicians, so called religious men, and well to do business people who have the means to help those who are in need, those who are helpless and they do nothing. Sometimes when these helpless people show up at their door they throw them away and humiliate them.
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I have always wanted dreamed of becoming a God fearing man and secondly to continue my education and achieve my aim of becoming an electrical engineer and thirdly to help those who are in need, the helpless in my society.
The major obstacles in my way is the fear that I will not be able to achieve my ambitions since I don’t have the money and this is the main problem I am facing now. And I will take this opportunity to ask you something. Please, my friend I need an amount of 5 million cedis, about 500 dollars to further my education at Takoradi Polytechnic. I will need this money by around August-September this year, so please if you can help me or if you know of someone who can help me to achieve my aim I will be forever grateful. If through your help I am able to get to Polytechnic I will never look down upon anyone who needs help, and I know that God will bless you abundantly.
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If I could teach the people of America one thing in life it would be not to look down upon the poor people of Africa and thinking that they are worthless. Because people think that when you are poor you are nothing, you are of no use whether old or young, and nothing good can come from you. When I experience this I can’t stand it because I think something good can come from anyone if somebody is ready and willing to help those people.
And I believe that help is giving to the poor is not wasted because the Bible says “if someone gives something to the poor that person has given it to God and He will pay that person more than what he gave in kind.” So we must do all we can to help these people.

1 comment:

Benjamin said...

The dedication and overall intrinsic motivation and selflessness of this young man is so great. It really put things into perspective. When we are so concerned about the little things is life, it is so important to not "sweat the small stuff". Remembering that things are not always as bad as they seem, remembering there are others out there in need and remembering God will guide you is the solution. This is an amazing post, Jay, and you are lucky to know such great people.
p.s. This is Caroline and Ben.