In 2006, my wife and I traveled to Ghana, West Africa and our lives were forever changed by the experience. Throughout our visit, we were amazed by the strong spirit and faith of Ghanaians. During the time we spent with the youth in Ghana, we observed their determination to reach their full potential and their hopefulness for the forward progression of their country. Our interactions left a lasting impression and caused us to have a greater appreciation for our lives.
Upon our return to America, we discussed our experience and concluded that our interactions with Ghana’s youth impacted us the most. After reflecting on our childhood, we realized that education was easily accessible to us regardless of our family's socio-economic status. In addition, we recognized that the prospect of a successful career was within reach as long as we took advantage of available opportunities. The childhood of Ghanaian youth living in rural villages is in stark contrast to the childhood my wife and I experienced. Access to quality education is one of the major challenges facing Ghanaian youth and without a quality education, future opportunities to earn a living are diminished. As a result, the vicious cycle of poverty is repeated.
With this in mind, my wife and I decided to sponsor two Ghanaian youth and cover the cost for their education each year. Our involvement in the lives of these children has been rewarding for us and has made an even greater difference in their lives. They are excited to be able to attend a good school and are amongst the top of their class in academic performance. Witnessing the impact of our simple gesture on their future sparked the vision to create Save The Villages, Inc. We want many more youth in Ghana, as well as youth in other developing countries, to have the opportunity to receive a quality education and secure a promising future for themselves, their families, and their nation.
In a speech given in 1963, former US President John F. Kennedy was quoted as saying, "The future promise of any nation can be directly measured by the present prospects of its youth." Through Save The Villages, we hope to profoundly impact our world by uplifting youth and helping them realize their full potential.