17.10.16 | News, A Day to Remember

A Day to Remember...

Yessica Fridolia from Indonesia takes part in the South-South exchange. The young woman will support the children's ward of the Agogo Presbyterian Hospital in Ghana for six months and is already grateful about this decision
The children at the Agogo Presbyterian Hospital. (Photo: EMS/Fridolia)

At the children's ward Yessica Fridolia learns together with the children. (Photo: EMS/Fridolia)

This is wonderful, I thought reading the email I received from Birgit Grobe-Slopianka, Head of the Ecumenical Youth Volunteers Programme. I had just come back from India where I had a great time during the youth exposure of EMS and the Church of South India and spent a lot of time with people from all over the world. In India, Birgit told us about the different EMS programmes, especially about the Ecumenical Youth Volunteers Programme (EYVP) and its three directions: North-South, South-North and South-South. And suddenly I realised that Germany, the destination I applied for as a volunteer, is not the only place I can go to. So, I just followed my heart and asked Birgit if I could change my volunteer service into a different direction.

Then, one thing led to another and my application was accepted before I could even realise it. I received Birgit's email which said that I was going to the Agogo Presbyterian Hospital in Ghana for six months - a country I had never imagined before. Of course some obstacles came my way. I received an email from the Ghana Embassy in Kuala Lumpur which informed me that I could not apply for my visa in Indonesia but had to go to Kuala Lumpur. I also got information that the stock of yellow fever vaccine in Indonesia ran out. I said to myself that this was going to be a long journey.

On the 5th of September, I made it with God's grace to Ghana. The country welcomed me with beautiful weather. I stepped out of the airport where Mrs. Ester and Mr. Sylvester from the Presbyterian Church of Ghana waited to pick me up. So, after I got my yellow fever vaccine in Jakarta, stayed four days in Kuala Lumpur, one night in Accra, two weeks in Abetifi, where I learnt about the Ghanaian culture and received Twi lessons with other volunteers, I finally arrived in Agogo, my final destination on September 21. There, I met Mr. Ezekiel, the administrator and on the next day I went to the Children's Ward of the hospital to get to know the staff and the children.

The Children's Ward of the Agogo Presbyterian Hospital is for kids who need to stay in hospital because of a disease or injury. For me the ward provides an insight into how Ghana takes care of the children education. On my second day at Agogo I started my volunteer service which includes learning and laughing together with the children. Mr. Justice, the staff leader, said that my main job is to train the children's minds. Because sometimes sickness and pain lets children behave badly to one another.

So this is what I have been trying and will continue to do almost every day. I am thankful that I joined Sunday School ministry 12 years ago, because it helps me a lot to interact with the kids. Like Mr. Justice said: "At first it is not easy, but time will help you to find out what you and the kids could do together." And it is true. Sometimes the class is full and on some days it is almost empty, but i realized one thing: These six months will be a great experience. There will be many lessons in the Children's Ward, and the person who will learn and get the lesson is not the children, the person is me.

Yessica Fridolia