Next Stop: Ghana

Hello to all you lovely people. I have some exciting news…

Every year for the past few years, my mom and stepdad have been a part of an amazing group of physicians who volunteer their time in Ghana for two weeks in November. During this time, the team sets up various surgical, eye, dental and medical clinics in rural villages in Ghana to provide free medical care to over 5000 patients. These patients come from all across the country to receive medical care that they can’t afford otherwise. The clinic is open to everyone who shows up regardless of condition or age. It’s an amazing act of humanitarian-based care that helps so many people in need. About a month ago, I applied to be a part of the organization’s 2017 team. And to my great surprise and over-the-moon excitement…I’ve been accepted!

Health is the basis of one’s quality of life. In poor communities like the ones in Ghana, and many others like it in the Global South, people rely hugely on their health to survive. People in low-resource settings in the Global South often don’t have the same access to health and medical care that we have in Canada, and because of this they suffer from all types of diseases that we rarely experience or simply don’t have to worry about as much. Non-communicable diseases like heart disease or cancer become much more deadly, while communicable diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and parasites occur in higher numbers than we have ever experienced here. I’ve learned in my studies that structural violence and extreme inequality are at the roots of these issues, along with negligence and ignorance from many affluent countries that hold positions of power.

I could go on for hours on these topics, and in the months to come I will continue discussing what I know about these issues. But in the meantime, I want to share my excitement on being a part of this amazing team for this coming November. My position as a volunteer will be with the Operations & Logistics team, and on the side I will be using what I know about photojournalism to be a photographer for the trip. I’m taking a photojournalism course this summer to refresh my knowledge on how to capture real human emotion in my photography. I want these images and stories that I capture to be real, powerful and inspiring.

As a team member, I’m responsible for all of my fundraising. The team has instructed me on how to set up a fundraising page, that I will be keeping open until I leave for the trip in November. This is a dream of mine that I have had for a few years now. My heart is pulling me in this direction, and I’m excited beyond words to have this opportunity. Most importantly, I will be doing everything in my ability to help those who need it. Every step of this journey will be for the sake of the people that we, as a team, will be helping. I have a lot to learn, more than I know. But I’m ready and I’m willing to be a part of this experience in every way that I can. That’s why I’m asking you to help me get there.  It’s going to be a huge, scary, challenging and eye-opening experience, and it starts here.

This is the first of many posts to come about this trip. The link to my fundraising page is here. I hope you will stay with me in this journey as I try to post updates as often as I can. Thank you for anything that you can offer me, I appreciate it more than you know. All donations are eligible for a tax receipt! And even if you can’t offer financial help, I appreciate your attention and your presence in this. More updates to come, so stay tuned!


C.

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