Why I insured a whole school! By Emma Hodgkins
A boy arrives to class in pain
In the short time I was in Ghana, teaching in one of the schools, on my second day two of teaching, I had a young boy come to me. He was in so much pain. It was obvious that he was seriously ill. He had egg like lumps on his head that had gone septic and blood and puss seeped from them. I had a 1st aid kit so cleaned them up to the best of my ability. But it was obvious that he needed medical attention. His sister also suffered with the same condition so I took both of them to the local hospital.
Kofe and Porche outside their family home.
Kofe and Porche receive treatment
When I arrived there the doctor explained that Kofe and Porche had ring worm that had spread to their head. Their mum had brought Kofe a month before to the hospital but as she did not have medical insurance she could not afford the treatment. I paid for their treatment. It was heart breaking seeing these two beautiful children going through so much pain. The treatment was tough for them and as I held their hand I cried as I felt their pain.
Kofe (in yellow T-shirt) and Porche at the school where I taught.
Donations enable the whole school to get insured
The following day I took both Porsche and Kofe to the insurance office and insured them for the yr to make sure they could get the medical treatment they needed if they fell ill again. It costs less than £2 to insure a child for a year.
After my experience I spoke to my Dad who then sent emails out to everyone we knew asking for donations. I received enough money from friends and family to be able to insure the entire school by the time I left.
I set up a craft session set up for local people at volunteer house.
Craft workshop set up at the volunteer house
I then set up a small school in the volunteer house, teaching a small group of kids how to make hand made crafts. We made jewellery, bags, head bands and a blanket.
I was selling the crafts to the other volunteers in the house and by the end of my time in Ghana they had made £30.
Not a lot to me and you, but a huge amount to them when you consider that the average unskilled wage in Ghana is £1 a day.
Taking the water filters was a humbling experience experience.
New water filters now provide clean water for 12 years
We did an out reach project where we go to a village to take a water filter that has been donated. It was the most humbling experience of the trip. The head of the village said we have dreamt and prayed for this moment and you have turned it into a reality.
Again I spoke to my dad who sent another email to everyone we know explaining what I had experiences.
After that email we raised enough money to get 2 more water filters. Around £250 each. With the local team help we were able to get those water filters flown out with another volunteer and taken back to the same village. This meant with the 3 water filters the village is able to have clean water for the next 12 years.
My aim is to raise £3000 a year
Since I returned to the UK I have started setting up my own charity.
I aim to raise £3000 a year to take back to Africa each year to give life saving and changing water filters and medical insurance to those who need it.
I am hoping to return to Africa this year in the autumn.