My personal National Volunteer Day story

In the run-up to National Volunteer Day on September 21, I wanted to spend that day in Kumasi. It'd been a while since I had seen my parents and wanted to spend time with them at home in Kumasi. +Barcamp Kumasi was coming up as well so I was going to use the weekend to get some planning going. I wanted to get various people to join me to go to the King Jesus Charity Home to teach the kids there about various things. I had been to King Jesus twice before, both times to donate provisions, gifts and money. I did this under the 'Smiles for New Year' umbrella which emanated from 'Smiles for Christmas'.

I pushed these ideas into Barcamp Kumasi activities in order to gain some more accomplishments for that. I want things I do to be more popular than me. I want things I am doing to be run through programs and projects I am part of. Get the drift? :-) I posted a blog post and shared a sign up form which a few people filled. Some others expressed their interest via Facebook. A couple of days to Founder's Day, I contacted those who had signed up to remind them of our activity on Saturday. I reached out rather late and couldn't get all of them to join.

On September 21, I took a Starbow flight to Kumasi to participate in NVDay. My mother picked me up from the airport with 2 gentlemen, one of whom was the driver. While driving on the main Kumasi-Accra road and passing by Tech junction, I looked out at the main KNUST gate and saw the new zebra crossing. It had been painted by the Rotaract club of KNUST that day. More vim! A lot more happened in Kumasi that day. Thanks to Storify, you can relive some of it.
I got to the King Jesus Charity around 12 noon and waited for the other volunteers. Longtime childhood friend Ofosu showed up with another Odadee, Benjamin Adjei-Peprah+Watson Bedzrah & +sampson deklu, 2 +Barcamp Kumasi members also arrived. They were joined later by Sadia Mohamed and her friend, Sayada, who I got to know through +Ali Bukari Maiga and some Rotaract Club members. Ofosu did a reading class for some of the kids, teaching them new words. Sampson took some of the kids through drawing lessons. I organized a math class for those lower than primary 6 while Benjamin handled one for those older than that. Sadia and her friend organized a writing class while taught some of the kids music and dance. It was a lot of fun. The kids cooperated and were eager to learn, you'd have thought they had an eye on food we were supposed to give them instead.

My aim was to show the beauty of math to the students. I helped them understand the 2 times, 3 times, 4 times, and 5 times tables. The class 3 girl could tell you to the 2 times table but couldn't tell you what 2 times 43 is. "46! 68! 64!" Their first instinct is to try remember and then guess. And they'd guess with authority too. When I was their age, I figured out that all digits of all multiples of 9 added up to 9. Take 18, 27, 63, 171, 288, etc. All multiples of 6 have their digits add up to 3, 6 and 9 and are even numbers. Etc. When the students could answer questions that challenged their understanding of math, I was proud. We got into doing high-fives. They loved those. The kids enjoyed learning similarly in the other 'breakouts' ;-) See pictures.

After leaving the King Jesus Charity, my phone was dead as usual. I went over to +mFriday's Tech Hub to use their space. This was especially because +Sygil Media had stationed there gathering data, info and media on National VOlunteer Day and live-blogging its activities. See the blog they created here - It's going to be the home for the +Ghana Volunteer Program, which we launched on International Volunteer Day. Proud of what we achieved on National Volunteer Day. Check out pictures from this Google+ event. Many of us could individually say "I Made Ghana Better Today" (#IMGBT).


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