For Prince two things triggered his passion for volunteering. The first was how he grew up. Prince grew up around people who were always willing to help others. He fondly recalls that his older brother was always willing to share his pocket money with him. Prince learnt from his brother’s habit. He says, “I realised that if my brother could give out his money to me without hesitating, I could also do the same.”
The second thing was his Bible readings. He discovered a text in Mark 10:43. It read, … “Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”. Prince realised that service to many is the key to greatness.
So, Prince started thinking of creating an organisation with a great vision and core values that would help the underprivileged. That is how the Make Me Smile Foundation was born.
Their first project was educating the Mampong populace on tramadol abuse. This was a time where tramadol abuse was in national conversations. They shot educational videos about the effects of tramadol abuse and shared it with many young people. Since then, they have organised blood donations and donated several items to children in Sunyani through the ‘Look and Pick Initiative.’ Most recently, Prince and his colleagues developed a Science book which they shared to school in deprived communities in Nkoranza North.
One most memorable project for him was the donation to prisoners at the Manhyia Prisons. They donated food and other toiletries to the inmates. Prince says fondly, “ I will never forget the reaction of the prisoners, they were very grateful for the banku and other items. They called it ‘Manna! They really blessed us. Most times, I look at pictures from that donation and smile.”
Additionally, Prince volunteers with Rebuild Africa, Kings Made Kingdom organisation, Dr. Brian Rueben and Youth Empowerment consortium where he helps with project management, building leadership, politics and entrepreneurship.
Prince Wiafe has benefited from volunteering. “Volunteering has improved my entrepreneurial skill, leadership skill and unearthed various potentials that I wasn’t aware of. My communication skill has been enhanced. Previously, I was timid and shy but the exposure I have received from volunteering has boosted my confidence and self-image. Furthermore, My mindset has been redefined. I see the positives in every problem so that I can help solve them”.
Prince explains that the biggest challenge as a volunteer is the inward voice that tries to stop you from volunteering. When you overcome that voice, other challenges like uncooperative members, unappreciative beneficiaries or discouragement from others will be easy to overcome.
On development, this is what Prince opines, “If we volunteer to work on the problems plaguing us, it reduces the burden on the government and resources can be diverted to other problems.”
Finally, some advice from Prince, “Ask yourself ‘What can I give?’ The world needs changemakers, impact-ers, contributors. Focus on what you can give to help, not what you can take to benefit because the little you give can be a treasure to someone. Let your light of selflessness shine, If I let my light shine and you let your light shine. We will be able to confront the darkness that we face in Ghana.”
Prince Wiafe holds a Bsc. in Biological Science from the University of Education Winneba. He is the founder of Make Me Smile, an organisation that is focused on making life better for the underpriviledged.
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