Who run the world? Girls!
After my first day here at Ghana, I am convinced that Beyonce’s song is inspired by the women who live in the Abutia Forsime community. If it’s not, it should be. These women are badasses, and I have mad respect for them.
Let me backup: I am currently living in Ho, Ghana volunteering with Photographers Without Borders and VARAS. Each day that I am here, I am visiting a rural community that needs help, whether it be water supply, schooling, health clinics, etc. I talk to the elders and chiefs of the community, hear their needs, and photograph it. VARAS will then be taking my photos and use them to promote their volunteer programs and raise awareness for each of the community’s needs.
Ok, back to the ladies at Abutia Forsime. We arrived at their community because their water situation is bad. Real bad. When we got there, the elders explained that their water source is located far away; we could walk, or we could take the motorbikes. Because we wanted to get a true sense of what it was like to live in this community, we said we would walk.
I didn’t know that by ‘far’ the man meant it’s about a 5 mile hike roundtrip, including a trek up a mountain. It was hot (I mean hot), I was sweating buckets, and as soon as I saw their water, I wanted to jump in it. Better judgement told me not to.
I was dying, and I just had to carry my camera bag. These ladies did this carrying a huge bucket of water on their heads! And then they go home, clean, cook, and parent. And not only that, they do this twice a day. Say what?! I couldn’t imagine doing that everyday. And the hardest part about the whole thing is that when they get home, they are only allowed to have 1 cup of the water that they hauled home because the rest needs to go to cleaning, cooking, and other family members. One cup of water for all that trouble. Aye!
To be completely honest, I am so glad that Abutia Forsime was the first community I visited here in Ghana. It made me really appreciate things back home, and it made me feel like what I’m doing here right now and what VARAS is working towards is really meaningful. VARAS will be using my photos to help create a volunteer program so that volunteers can come to Ghana and help build Abutia Forsime a well! Woo!
You know what the worst part of the whole experience was? After I left the village, I sat down, had lunch, and had a clean, cold, glass of water. I felt so guilty.
Everyone deserves clean water!