How a journey to Ghana sparks the idea of a social enterprise

Thanks to my husband Rafael’s initiation to an international community project with JCI London, I was lucky enough to join him and another 3 team members delivering 1,000 malaria nets to Ghana in 2014. Having lived my whole life in developed cities like Hong Kong and London, I only got to know about the life in Sub-Saharan Africa through media.

Winnie JCI London to Ghana projectWaiting to depart from Kumasi

The first thing that strike me there was the heat wave. For the trip from Kumasi to Tamale, our group had to wait in the market for more than 6 hours before the bus was fully filled. The temperature was constantly 39°C and I couldn’t help sweating even without doing anything. I could still remember vividly how I kept waving my handheld fan while the locals were selling their products, broadcasting their slogans “Wa wa wa wa, American Ford, a emma evite“again and again.

JCI London to Ghana malaria net project

During the week there, we visited an orphanage in Kumasi, a village and a school in Tamale region to deliver the malaria nets, and local authorities to gain a better understanding of their living and studying condition.

Winnie playing games with African kids

The most memorable moment for me was the encounter of a little boy. That was a night when JCI Tamale hosted a documentary night to show local villagers a short film about malaria. While the team was setting up, I played games with the children there and soon bonded with them. By the time we need to go, one of the boys held my hand tight, walked me all the way to our car and kept asking me “Madam, where do you stay?”. That genuine gesture moved me and I almost went speechless. Not knowing what exactly to say, I told him to study hard and hope deep in my heart that he will have all the opportunities he need to live out his potential.

That planted a seed in my heart to help our children.

More stories to follow…