Going to Ghana was not just about what I could do in Ghana but really it was more about learning from the work that is already being done there and seeing what I can do here in my community. In Ghana we saw the grave injustices of kids who are forced to live on the street. I experienced first-hand children who slept on a hard concrete median in the middle of a highway, kids who lacked basic nourishment, shelter and healthcare.
The kid in the picture, Patrick, used to be one of those kids. Today thanks to Future of Africa he has a home and is going to school and is working hard to make a better life for himself and those around him. Some stranger’s choice to walk alongside him when no one else would has dramatically impacted his life.
Yet I find there are those in similar situations who live amongst us in Canada but often go unnoticed. I have friends who have been homeless and slept in tents or truck trailers who have also lacked basic nourishment and healthcare. I have seen those who simply due to a mental illness beyond their control are left without support and ignored by society, much like these street children were.
I wonder what might happen if more of us were to come alongside the forgotten and ignored people in our communities. I hope that by what I learned from the examples of those working in Ghana I might start to impact the lives of the forgotten in my own community.