Emmanuel Opare, 23, from Ghana, has been awarded the National Youth Volunteer Award for his service to volunteering in Ghana, and has been commended for his determination to change the lives of others in Ghana.
Emmanuel’s successes include collecting over 1,000 books and dictionaries for a local school, and raising awareness of important issues like reproductive health, environmental issues and gender equality.
Emmanuel initially volunteered as a VSO ICS volunteer, based in Asamankese, Ghana. For this project, he trained women in batik, soap-making, tie-dye and bead making, and raised awareness of important issues in the community.
Emmanuel didn’t stop there though. He reapplied to be a volunteer, this time as a Team Leader for VSO, based in Jirapa. Here, he helped to create a campaign to highlight the importance of education, and created essential teaching materials for classrooms.
However, it is Emmanuel’s continued commitment to helping people that is truly outstanding. Since volunteering, Emmanuel has gathered over 1,000 books, dictionaries and educational resources to donate to a school near Asamankese. He has also trained up new volunteers, passing on his wisdom and advice.
Emmanuel is now looking to the future. He now hopes to introduce computer skills classes to a school in Jirapa.
‘I’ll be introducing a project called “icode for the rural child”, where I will be introducing digital literacy and coding skills to rural communities in Ghana, as well as career guidance and mentorship training,’ Emmanuel said.
Emmanuel wants more people to take part in volunteering, and offers advice for anyone thinking about it:
‘My advice for volunteers is to stay committed. Let yourself be led by the passion that motivated you to volunteer your time, energy and resources to make a positive impact on the lives of others. There is nothing more fulfilling than to make a positive impact on someone else’s life.’