"The entire world will move, if everyone takes just one step"
4 weeks of voluntary work in a warm country, giving back, doing something good for other people…that was all we wanted. Very simple. This is what actually happened...!
We are Jennifer and Daniela Kroß from Eutin/Ostholstein/Germany
and this is our story:
We decided to book a volunteering trip to Senya Beraku, Ghana through an organisation called Volunteer World.
The task was to look after young children from the ages of 2-14 years old who are going to kindergarten and school/ preschool. Weekends were supposed to be off, fun filled with a lot of adventures.
We were excited and well prepped…or so we thought. Suitcases full of collected donations like school utensils and toys for the kids, ... 14 vaccinations later and finally our journey began.
Seth Barnes, the founder of an NGO called Miracle Works Educational Complex, picked us up and took us to the school with the adjacent housing for kids in need. He manages the school and housing complex together with his lovely wife Naomi. Seth, Naomi and their teachers are caring for orphans, starving kids from poor families, single parent or sick children and anybody else is in desperate need of a hot meal and education.
Our room was adjacent to the school. The furnishing was barely there: a very dated and rickety wooden bed and a pillow - nothing else - no electricity or running water. The toilet was a 30m walk away, in order to take showers we had to use buckets and the water out of a rainwater tank.
We wanted to go home asap!
Until we didn’t…. we stayed!
The next day we met the few but very kind teachers and also most of the children.
They welcomed us with big beautiful, curious eyes and made us feel like we were part of this big family right away.
Soon we realised that the African people are the most empathic, respectful, proud, polite, courageous, the most combative and most of all welcoming people we had ever met.
It was a terrible realisation that the around 100 children in Seth’s school have very little access to water and they are hungry most of the time. They are wearing very little clothes. They need basic medical supplies to fight dangerous diseases - but they don`t have!
Despite everything, they welcomed us into their lives and showed us a good time with a lot of laughter.
We didn’t only share the sad and moving moments - no - we took it ALL in and cried through the tough times. We also had real heart to heart and insightful conversations with Seth and Naomi. These conversations made us realize quickly in which toxic inhumane situation these tiny, helpless humans are in.
In the beginning we were overwhelmed with feelings of helplessness, despair and fear.
Not just concern about our own health and safety - above all - it was about everyone`s emergency situation.
It was an emotional rollercoaster to say the least!
The kids are starving and have very little access to any water at all, never mind clean water.
People in their local village are told not to help them because it is thought that they won’t survive anyway and they are only prolonging the inevitable if they do help them! Unimaginable thoughts for us but very real thoughts here in Senya Beraku, sadly.
Right now, these kids are living in a very unfinished building complex where teachers are unable to calm them down because they are crying hysterically out of unimaginable hunger.
The landlord of their current home has realised it is rented out to someone using it for these outcast children. For this reason he has terminated the rental agreement. Sadly, the government has arbitrarily stopped supporting Seth’s NGO and the adjacent school, therefore they need our help now more than ever.
This unbearable situation made us pause and it became clear to us: something has to be done! We documented our daily life on social media so that we could reach out for help.
A lot of people donated money so that we were able to buy food and clean water for about two months, basic items like chairs, paper plates, tables, cooking oil, fuel for the TukTuk to bring the kids safely to their village and to school….it seemed like despite all of our efforts many essential things were either missing or not enough. Additionally, we bought hygiene supplies, medicine and mattresses for sick children and put them in a separate rooms in order for them to rest and to get well.
Our own non profit association DAKi International was born. Together with our two children Jacky and Jason and a small number of handpicked team members who are motivated and likeminded, we strive to change the lives of as many children as possible.
We are taking matters in our own hands now. We believe that everybody deserves a chance at life!
Due to one very generous donation, by using our savings, with a lot of little donations and by working closely with Seth Barnes NGO “Miracle Works Educational Complex”, we managed to acquire some land and started to build a home for disadvantaged and homeless children.
Where Passion and Dedication Meet
Our Team focuses all of their resources on buying food, water and medical supplies at the same time as raising money and awareness. The building for the children, Seth & Naomi has to be finished by the end of the year or many of these children don’t stand a chance.
Our mission for the this year is to build a basic home for many outcast children of Senya Beraku, next year we want to renovate and expand the school and who knows what the future will hold for us.
Together we want to give everyone proper nutrition and at least an opportunity to complete a basic education with a roof over their heads. We want them to grow up as protected and loved as they can be, to be able to go out into this world and have a chance to get a job and secure future for themselves and their families.