I few weeks ago I was in Ghana, visiting microfinance institutions as well as small entrepreneurs in Accra, Kumasi and the Central Region.
It was an amazing experience and I loved the country, the food and more than anything else, the people. It was great to be able to meet and talk to entrepreneurs that have launched small businesses both in rural and urban areas and to discuss with organizations created to support them in different ways.
One of the most enriching experiences of the trip was to visit the small community of Larbi,around 1 hour away from Accra, and to talk and spend a few hours with the clients of a small microfinance organization. Without water, electricity or sanitation, around 1200 people live in houses made of moud and wood. They work mainly as traders in the markets of Accra suburbs and survive with very low incomes. Nevertheless, what stroke me the most was their gentleness, their happy faces and their positive attitude…. And I fell in love with the kids…
As most of the adults couldn’t speak any English, the kids helped us as translators and I felt an amazing connection with them. They of course found us “funny” and enjoyed playing and talking to us and teaching us their songs and dances. I took pictures and videos from them with my mobile and then we watched them together. They were totally amazed. They were also astounded by my blond hear that they could not stop touching.
There was one detail that I found especially moving: At the end of the visit, I got as a present from the community a large piece of pineapple. Without thinking too much about it I decided to share it with the group of kids, but I immediatelly realised that there was not enough for all of them and that I may create a conflict. It was too late so cut it in pieces and gave them out to the 6 o 7 kids that were closer to me. They immediately decided to cut their share into smaller pieces and distribute them with the rest. What an amazing example of generosity!
Going back to Accra I felt my heart full of the love and happiness these children gave me. They hardly have their basic needs covered but they were cheerful and smiling. And I thought how little they needed to be happy.
A great lesson to bring back home…
If you want to help the community you can get in touch with Financieros sin Fronteras, where María Luque is doing an amazing job. Thanks María for making this visit possible for me.