I am 27 years old and I studied social work as a major. Other cultures, ways of living, traditions and rituals have always held a fascination for me and awake an acute curiosity within me. During my studies I completed a practical semester in Ghana. It wasn´t always easy but the candidness, the spontaneous zest for life and the hospitality of the people captured me in a way I hadn´t believed possible. At the end I experienced a larger culture shock returning to Germany by my arrival as for me this had become a foreign land.
Upon completing my studies I worked for 2 years as a street worker helping young people that had become homeless to find their place in society. More and more I came to the conclusion that I must undertake action to contribute all I could to correct the many injustices in the world. All people around the globe, regardless if in Africa, Asia or Europe are part of the human race and the actions of one can contribute to a change and have an affect on the lives of others. The world is suffering from many problems such as poverty, destruction of our environment and injustice in our social structures. Every one of us must find his own way to come to terms with these issues. When we would like to refer to ourselves as responsible people we must search for ways to take responsibility for ourselves, our surroundings and with that all of the other life forms that share our destiny on this planet we call home.
Inspired by the wish to once again submerge myself in the West African culture and again establish contact with the wonderful people that live there, I made the decision to work as a volunteer in Liberia. This small land is the people of Germany best known through the Ebola Epidemic in 2014. The Civil War from 1989 up till 2003 and the with that associated atrocious pictures of mass murder, children soldiers and devastation is on the other hand barely known here in the homeland. With the plan to inform myself I planned a half year working on a voluntary basis for various charity organisations as well as travelling through the land to get to know these fascinating people and establish a social network. Without quite realizing the full scope of what I had gotten myself into, I found myself in a culture where I met people that not only awoke my compassion but also a very strong feeling of admiration. There are still many problems in Liberia. Corruption is a normal part of life that you are confronted with on every street corner and carried out openly as it has been accepted as unavoidable. Many people live in bitter poverty and with that the land suffers under a very high rate of crime. Many of the children must work in order to ensure the bare minmum of existence for their families and do not have the luxury of going to school in any form to receive an education. In the cities the streets are full of children that peddle water, food and cheap goods. In the rural areas the children must work on the farms. Complete families are caught in this vicious cycle of poverty and can not read or write. They have no perspectives to improve their future and are constantly struggling to attain the bare necessities for survival.
It is also important for me to focus on positive aspects that I experienced during my travels. Travelling unaccompanied as a person with white skin I encountered an unbelievable amount of heart felt hospitality offered to me overall along the way. Over and over again I was offered a place to stay or invited to dine with them although they barely had enough for themselves. I made the experience that if you treat the native people with respect they are open for conversation, friendship and cultural exchange. This intensive contact resulted in my ability to travel without undertaking special measures as the people see it as their duty to give all assistance necessary to a guest to ensure they arrive at their destination safe and sound.
My encounters with the people of Liberia and their destinies touched me deeply and reinforced my decision to take action to assist under priveledged children. For this reason I developed in cooperation with Emmanuel and other students of the Tubman University the concept of the Kids Care Campus e.V. The objective is to give children a positive perspective through education as only with a strong future generaion can we make a lasting change.