Editor's Note: The Blessings of Accra
For my final spring break at Howard, I decided to apply to Alternative Spring Break because I haven’t done it at all during my first three years at Howard. I opened my email and read that not only did I get accepted, but I was placed to serve in Accra, Ghana. I was completely in shock – I was going to the Motherland for the first time.
It didn’t hit me that I was in Africa until we got to the first service site. Right then, I took the responsibility to capture my ancestral land the way it deserved to be captured.
Our service site for the first day was at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial School where students between the ages of 5 and 15 are enrolled. Little did we know how much these students were looking forward to this day.
As my 38 other classmates and I walked onto the school grounds, we instantly noticed the schoolkids excitedly peeking out of their classrooms, just happy to see some visitors. I was placed in one of the fourth grade classes to assist the teacher.
I began talking to each and every student to learn their names and who they were. They were more inclined with me as they were asking who I was, why I was there and if I could spend as much time as possible with them. I then asked if they wanted to take a picture with my camera. They all ran to the front of the classroom and gave me their biggest smiles or the silliest poses. They didn’t have a worry in the world. At that moment, I realized how much I can impact these kids’ lives.
Making connections with them, spending time with them and teaching them new things, like how to hold a camera, our childhood games and how to shoot a basketball, didn’t just become my priority at that time, but every Howard student’s goal as well. This opportunity allowed us to fulfill our school’s motto, “Truth and Service.” The first day, we were there for about three hours, but it felt like 20 minutes. We loved every moment of it. The kids loved it more.
That’s what I wanted to capture with my photo essay, “The Blessings of Accra.” Their carefree, worry-free, happy energy. Their energy became contagious and we all wanted to make a positive impact in these kids’ lives. These photos capture that impact.
- Caleb White, Senior