Sandra Bansah’s heart was beating when she dashed into her CEO’s office. She was about to solicit for funds to help Period Ghana an organisation that she volunteers for. She could have lost her job for daring to do this. Only high level executives even got the chance to meet the CEO. Sandra nervously introduced herself and explained to the CEO the work Period Ghana was doing and asked for his support. After staring at her for minutes the CEO said, “Young woman, you are brave.” He was impressed with her selflessness and even asked the Country Manager to help Sandra to get funds. By the end of the fundraising, Sandra had gained enough funds for the project! Her organisation PEG Africa even became a sponsor for Period Ghana!
Where did Sandra get this courage from? Her courage comes from her commitment to impact lives as a volunteer.
Sandra Bansah began volunteering in university. She volunteered at Airtel Ghana, a new telecommunications organisation at that time, to sell their SIM cards to students.
Later on, she volunteered with Curious Minds Ghana, assisting them with their first conference in 2017 and later their NoYawa Summit. Sometimes she had to skip lectures to volunteer but Sandra was willing to do that. She was learning a lot.
Even during her national service, Sandra continued to volunteer. She joined Life Mac Network Foundation in Ho, sharing her experiences and mentoring students on how to make the right choices. Sandra recounts the blessing, “Some of the girls are now in SHS and they always call to check on me to remind me how they appreciate me. It makes me happy that I have impacted their lives.”
In 2018, she and her friends Tina and Priscilla started Period Ghana, an organisation that educates young girls on menstruation and provides free sanitary pads to those who cannot afford it. Every 28th May International Menstrual Hygiene Day they reach out to schools. They have visited Faith Baptist Senior High school, John Wesley Methodist School and more schools in Tema and Jamestown to educate young girls and to also donate some sanitary pads.
Has Sandra benefited from volunteering? She replies, “A lot.”
Her network has grown. She has met a lot of high profile people and young brilliant minds who inspire her to keep doing more. Apart from that, Sandra has received invitations to various platforms and has been recommended for various opportunities because of her volunteer spirit.
As a marketing personnel volunteering has helped her to hone her skills, in terms of public speaking, self-expression and being innovative. Sandra puts it succinctly, “I keep growing. I see a deep change in the person I am now compared to when I started volunteering. ”
Also, Sandra encounters challenges while volunteering, sometimes people do not want to assist with funds, other times the resources are not enough. For instance, they had to put a pause on their activities due to the pandemic but Sandra reveals that all these challenges are an opportunity to grow. She adds, “The deep joy that I feel, that true happiness, keeps me motivated to continue impacting the lives of those around me.”
What about development? How do volunteers contribute? Sandra explains, “The government cannot do everything. Development starts from us. We need to ask ourselves what we are going to do in our own spaces. The knowledge and skills you have, are you using it to impact the people around you?”
Finally, here are some words of advice from Sandra, “As a woman, you are expected to go to school, graduate, marry and then have children. That is far from true. That’s not the only thing women can do. Dear woman, you can do anything. Especially, if you put your mind to it. A woman’s potential is limitless. You can volunteer. You can succeed. You can do everything.”
Sandra is a Telesales Representative at PEG Africa. She is an entrepreneur and Social media strategist as well. She is a member of Period Ghana an organisation that makes sanitary pads accessible to young girls who cannot afford it.