Thrive Africa – My Thank You

Dearest friends and family,

Thank you! From the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank you enough. Spending a month alongside the 19 other volunteers with Thrive Africa in Ghana was the most rewarding experience I have ever had, and it is YOU who made it possible.

In Ghana we were such a spectacle. In this country, some of the people had never seen a white person before, and so, whenever anyone saw us they shouted, “white people” and were so excited they would all run up waving and wanting to hold our hands. The children would sneak up and poke our white skin then run away giggling, expecting us to feel different than them. Once they realized we aren’t actually “softer” than them, as they had expected, and that we are the same just our colors our different, they asked us if we would be their friends. I have never felt more welcomed by a culture before.

With your financial support we created four libraries in the Kumasi region of Ghana, where each library was in a school. Three of these schools were in more remote villages and one was in the center of the busy city of Kumasi. In one of the more remote villages, before beginning building, we met with the village chief to introduce ourselves and he thanked us, telling us that we were making history by being the largest number of foreigners these villagers had ever seen at once. We were also told that these efforts would go down in history and be known as “the days the nice white people came and gave us books and hope.”
These schools only had chalkboards and chairs when we first arrived – so supplying books in new, brightly painted rooms, along with a table and benches was very exciting for both the villagers and the volunteers. Classes were put on hold and all of the students, teachers, and the rest of the community came out to watch us build and help us with what they could. They were all so curious as to what job we had to get paid to do this for them – to which we responded, “people sponsored us to be able to come and do this for you.” YOU made this possible for these communities and these communities are extremely grateful to you for this.

In the Upper Eastern Region of Ghana, the Bolgatanga area, your donations and support enabled us to build two new homes for orphans and their caregivers. These caregivers were both women in their 80s (one of whom was very, very sickly), who, along with their adult daughters, were caring for and raising 8 orphans in tiny mud huts that had no ventilation and, in 115 degrees Fahrenheit, were just heat boxes. In these tiny huts they all slept together on a rug on the floor, surrounded by what clothing and supplies they had for survival, meaning that if someone was sick they all were to be sick.

Because of your support, we were able to build them two-room mud houses with windows in them and supplied the roofs, so they no longer all have to sleep on top of each other in these tiny huts. As we were passing the mud balls we used to build the homes down the row, the orphans, ranging from really young, to teenagers, kept running up to help us pass the balls. They were so excited to have us building their homes. We put so much sweat and love into these homes and could not have done it without you. For this, I, and the people of Ghana, are eternally grateful.

Thank YOU. Thank you for changing these Ghanaian people’s lives. Thank you for changing my life. Your support means the world to me and has meant so much to so many others as well.

“Helping one person might not change the whole world, but it could change the world for that one person.”

With all my love and gratitude,
Rianna

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If you too are interested in participating in this incredible experience and have your life changed forever for the better, click here

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