Here is another insight to what volunteering at B.A.S.I.C.S is like. The fantastic Bridget Hochwalt donated her time and talents at the centre during the summer of 2012. She shares her story with us today.
“I was recommended to volunteer at B.A.S.I.C.S by a friend who had studied abroad in Ghana the year before I arrived. Little did I know how much BASICS would change my interests (I now have a passion for education reform,) and open my eyes to a world of new experiences, people, and lifestyles.
The children of BASICS taught me more about myself than I could ever repay them in the hours I spent tutoring, singing, and dancing during my stay there in the summer of 2012. For six too-short weeks, I stayed at the girl’s boarding house, where the girls taught me how to dance Azonto, eat Ghanaian food, and speak Ga. The generosity and love which those girls showed me during my time at the house is something I will never forget. Their easy laughter and friendly demeanor made every day interesting and exciting at B.A.S.I.C.S. Each day, I would make my way to the Center, where I tutored preschool children in the morning and 6th graders in the afternoon. The preschool children proved an added challenge- few spoke English- but despite the language barrier, we were able to connect through games and song. My 6th graders were one of the biggest highlights of my day; I miss their wit and kindness and I know that they will grow up to do great things.
To be sure, not every day was easy and lighthearted. My weeks in Ghana and with B.A.S.I.C.S were some of my most challenging. Learning the customs, dealing with the language barrier (when there was one), and learning how to be a white girl in a black country were each apart of daily life. However, it was by working through these challenges that I gained experiences and memories like nothing I have ever had in the US or other abroad trips. Traveling with other volunteers on the weekends, trying local dishes, and meeting new and unexpected friends were all some of these memories that made my BASICS experience special. If I could do it again, I would, but this time it would be for a few months rather than a few weeks.”