A Day in the Life in Ghana
February 1, 2017
No matter where you are in the world, all of us spend our days completing routine tasks to meet our needs and those of the people we care for. Preparing an evening meal, getting the kids off to school, meeting with friends, and managing finances are a few of the activities that might make up your day whether you find yourself in a rural village in Ghana or in an urban neighborhood in the U.S.
If you’ve ever wondered what life is like in the countries we serve, we invite you to spend a day in the life of a few of our friends in Ghana. You may be surprised at how familiar their daily journeys feel.
Patience Larbi, age 53, is the Box Keeper of the Nyame savings group, meaning she is trusted with keeping her group’s lock box of funds and bringing it to every meeting. Her husband is a small-scale farmer, and Patience sells smoked fish at the Nsawam market. They raised two children: a son — who, sadly, they lost to illness about two years ago — and a daughter, now 28 years old.
On a recent day, Patience woke up around 5:30 a.m., cleaned her house and made breakfast for her husband. She had promised a friend to help her harvest an onion crop, and arrived there around 7:30 a.m. They were joined by four more friends, and spent three hours harvesting a half-acre of onions. They took a lunch break, then harvested the remainder of the crop into the early afternoon. Following the harvest, they cut leaves from the onion bulbs and packed the bulbs in sacks to make it easier to carry them home. As payment for her labor that day, Patience received a sack of onions, which she considered a fair payment for her work.
By 4:00 p.m. that day, Patience had returned from the farm in time for her savings group meeting, which lasts about an hour. As she recounted to Derrick Kwaa, a Just Hope farmer advocate in Ghana, her work for the day was done at that point, and she planned to retire to bed early, as she was very tired from a busy day.
Nii Aryee Benjamin
Nii Aryee Benjamin, age 28, is a resident of Akwane Dobro in Ghana. His late father was a teacher, and they moved around frequently when he was growing up.
A hard-working man, Nii, who is recently married, often wakes up as early as 4:00 a.m. to put his house in order before setting off for the day. By 6:00 a.m. at the latest, he leaves for the farm where he grows mostly vegetables. He usually works for five hours, then Nii returns home from the farm for his lunch break (he mostly eats maize foods and rice). He takes a nap, then returns to the farm, which is not far from his house, in the afternoon. The setting sun tells him when it is time for him to head home.
Nii is the secretary of his local church, so he spends most evenings there keeping church records organized and tending to church business. After church, he returns home and ends his day around 10:00 p.m.
Akos Segbor is a member of the Asumdwoe savings group in a small community called Dzatsui Newtown in Ghana. A farmer, trader and a mother of four, she has been very involved with the welfare of her family and community.
She and her husband are a business team: he concentrates on growing the produce, and she makes sure all the produce they don’t eat gets sold at the market.
On a typical day (excluding Sunday) Akos wakes up as early as 5:30 a.m. and performs all her household chores, which includes cleaning and cooking that day’s meals for her family. After seeing the children off to the local government school, Akos arrives at the market by 9 a.m. She spends the rest of the day selling and networking with women from other communities. In the past, Akos would buy produce from other farmers and sell at the market for a profit; however, she recently told Just Hope farmer advocate David Dyer that weather and economic hardships have made it difficult for her to get surplus food from farmers to resell at the market.
Akos is usually home from the market in the late afternoon. She then prepares supper for her family, if they have additional food. If not, they just eat what was prepared in the morning. After taking her shower, she goes to an evening session at her church with her husband. When they return home, Akos shares with her husband all that happened at the market, then she retires to bed around 10:00 p.m.
Meet More Remarkable People
We are privileged to work with many remarkable people in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Togo, Panama and the Dominican Republic. Click here to get to know a few more of our friends and follow their stories.