I would like to thank Br Claudio for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to visit Ghana and the slums of Accra and Fr Subash for his hospitality, help and support during my two weeks of permanence at his residence at Jamestown and making me part of their projects. This experience has surely enriched me, learning about Africa’s culture and more deeply what is going in the slums of Sodom and Gomorrah, or how it has now better been renamed City of God, about their projects and how they are helping the unlucky community of the area.
My first impression when arrived at Accra’s airport was of a beautiful, yet very poor country, where traffic of cars populates the streets with people trying to sell any type of products, from food to home gadgets in order to make some money for living. Another fact that pops to the eye is the amount of garbage and waste all surrounding, you can see plastic everywhere and for the local people seems there is no problem.
The following day my arrival, Fr Subash and I went to the slums of City of God a twenty minutes walk from Jamestown, where Fr Subash lives. Even before entering the slums it’s easy to see how much poverty reigns in the area and in which conditions the local people live in. As a white person, I found it funny to say that I was feeling very observed on the streets and within the slums where is not really common to see a “white man” as some of them liked to call me. At first I wasn’t understating if they were doing in a negative way or in a positive one but then, once I smiled at them you could tell straight away their kindness, they would smile back at you and greet you. The reality of the slum is difficult to explain until you see it with your own eyes, how it happened that so many people ended up living in such conditions and left abandoned by their government and the rest of the world.
Luckily now there is a group of people such as Fr Subash, Br Claudio and others which are trying to help these people to have a better life, for them, their children and their future generations. In the last few years with the help of many, they opened a clinic, the only one within the slums, in order to assist the sick people which cannot afford to go the hospital. There is also a school, which now is closed but reopening in mid-October due to the expansion of it since they are building a second floor in order to guest more people, kids and adults that for different reasons didn’t have the chance of education.
Once arrived, it is difficult to understand the name of Sodom and Gomorrah attributed to them, in my stay I had no problem at all with the community, contrary, everyone was nice and kind, from the grownups to the kids, which where always so exited to see me as I believe some of them never saw a white person in their life before.
During my experience, since I am not able to assist them in a medical way, I had the great opportunity to make some classes for the local youth, teaching them some of the values of time management, team work and leadership. As a student myself I was very pleased and excited to contribute and support these people that surely deserve a brighter future than their actual present.
I truly enjoyed to give my little help to this community, which themselves want to get out of their situation but are not able to do it without support. During these two weeks I met a lot of beautiful people, local and not, that want to help this community and that is trying to give them a better future. Once again, thanks to Br Claudio and Fr Subash for this opportunity and hopefully one day I will go back to City of God.