Greg Sullivan '06 Reflects on a Year in Africa on a Benedictine Volunteer Program
Togo, the smile of Africa, is a small, West
African country tucked in between Ghana
It is one of the poorest nations in the world with no major exports or
mainstream tourist attractions. But what this little country lacks in financial
capital and world recognition, it makes up for in culture. I could not have
asked for a more difficult, trying, or rewarding experience than what I went
through in my six months in Togo.
The mission of my service was to teach in a rural school and determine if the
monastery at which I was residing would be a valid and safe service site for
the St. John’s Benedictine Volunteer Corps, as I
was the first volunteer to set foot in West Africa.
My teaching and my time in Togo
lasted for six months when I decided to join forces with another volunteer in Nairobi, Kenya
to work with street children living in the Mathare slum. The two months I spent
in Kenya were a wonderful
compliment to my experience in Togo.
I was afforded the rare opportunity to work with children from two very
different yet very similar cultures of Africa.
It truly was the experience of a lifetime. And to avoid doing the trip a
disservice that experience by trying to describe it in a few words I have
provided a link to the blog which I edited throughout my journey.