Volunteer Stories: Contributing To Community Development through Education

Growing up with many siblings, Michael didn’t show much interest in furthering his education. But one thing he’d always believed was that his name ‘Michael’ was associated with success looking at the likes of Michael Jackson, Michael Essien and others. Thus by virtue of his name he was determined to succeed and to help others too. “I want to guide young ones on the decisions they should make in order for them to succeed” He says. So after graduating from the University of Ghana with a degree in Nutrition and Food Science, he joined the Lead for Ghana teaching fellowship. He teaches Integrated Science at Fuo AME Zion basic school. 

Michael recalls a time before the outbreak “Being in the classroom with the Children is so joyful. I can be in the class 24/7. The joy of teaching the kids is so fulfilling.” Though the corona virus pandemic has affected his work he is not deterred, he constantly visits his students to check up on them and reassure them. He also uses his mobile phone to keep in touch with his students and gives them assignments too. At other scheduled times; they have class discussions over the phone.

In Michael’s community, people are coming to terms with the challenges brought on by the covid-19 and are practicing social distancing as schools, churches and mosques remain closed. As a leader and educator, he works with a team to develop masks and distribute them to his community members free of charge.

Michael describes his teaching journey with Lead for Ghana as challenging yet educative and full of self discovery. He adds that his work as an educator allows him to assist children irrespective of their social economic status. On what motivates him to continue as a teacher, Michael explains that his relationship with his kids, LFG alumni and the hospitable nature of his community members encourages him to keep doing his best despite the challenges he faces( such as the language barrier and occasional flooding when it rains.) 

During these times he continues to read to enhance his knowledge, practices French on Duolingo and interacts with other Lead for Ghana fellows. 

In addition to teaching, Michael volunteers as a soccer coach, assisting students to hone their soccer skills.

Article by Kofi Konadu Berko

Kofi Konadu Berko is passionate about education and youth development. He holds a B.A in Adult Education and Human Resource Studies from the University Of Ghana. His works have been published in the historic Afro young Adult anthology titled Water birds On the Lakeshore, Adabraka: Stories from the Center of the World, How To Write My Country’s name, Tampered Press and the Kalahari Review. He blogs at obolokofi.wordpress.com 

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