Local girl to volunteer her time in Africa

On the eve of a whole new experience – Amy Brus is intent on enriching her life experiences with a trip to Africa. Added to her agricultural skills gained in raising farm animals

Adrianne Shepherd

Independent reporter

Upon graduation, many youth head to post secondary and some take time off to work for a year, but it takes a selfless person to travel to a third world country and volunteer their time.

Amy Brus, graduated this spring from Wm. E. Hay and is doing just that: she will board a plane on Aug. 29 headed for Ghana, Africa.

“I have always wanted to go,” said Brus, “I looked on the internet and found the program where I got the best price and the program I could get the most from.”

She will spend three months volunteering at God’s Eye Orphanage, which was founded over a year ago and is located in the district town of Nkwanta in the Volta region.

The orphanage is now home to over 80 young children ranging in age, with the average age being six.

According to information Brus received on the program, there is power in the building that the children sleep in, but they are subject to frequent power outages.

Clean water is a big problem for the orphanage as their water supply is a 10-minute walk away.

Other issues that plague the orphanage include food supply and money. They don’t have the means to constantly supply enough food to feed 80 mouths.

Sleeping conditions are not the greatest either; the children often sleep on the floor or on straw mats.

Brus will be one of a handful of volunteers who will be responsible for tending to the children. She will get to play with them, feed them and just care for them.

Brus has travelled across Europe and North America, but has never travelled to a third-world country.

She says she is excited but getting more nervous as her departure date comes closer.

“I am getting more nervous, but I am definitely very excited,” she said.

“It’s going to be more like a life experience, to see a third world country and be in it.”

Brus hopes to raise some money before her departure so that she will be able to buy necessities for the children upon her arrival.

She might also see if she can take some smaller items with her for the children including books, pencil crayons, games and clothes.

Although not 100 per cent certain about what she wants to study in post-secondary, Brus hopes that her volunteering might help her decide.

She says she would like to work with children regardless and that it is a toss up between a pediatric nurse and childcare.

“My mom is nervous, more than I am,” said Brus, “my dad is a little nervous, but he will be there in December for two weeks travelling.”

Brus says her father and uncle will pick her up from the orphanage upon completion of her program and they will travel to Europe.

“It’s hard to actually imagine what I am going to experience,” she said.

During her stay, Brus will stay in a house with other female volunteers just off the orphanage.

Toilets are merely a hole in the ground, and showers are simply bucket baths with water from the river.

Nkwanta has a sizeable market with fresh produce, a community development center where you can buy drinks as well as many restaurants.

There are two hospitals within a 20 minute drive from the orphanage.

She has done plenty of research on the area she is going to, and says it is a rain forest climate and although the weather varies. She says she is expecting plenty of rain and temperatures between 27 and 30 degrees Celsius.

Brus has also been in contact with many other individuals and families who have volunteered for similar projects, so she knows kind of what to expect.

As she prepares to set out on her journey she asks that anyone wishing to help out contact her.

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