I VOLUNTEERED WITH D.Y.K.B

Hello readers, Guess what? I decided to volunteer for a nonprofit organization – Development of Youth using Kindness from a Biblical Standpoint (D.Y.K.B). What influenced my decision?  The society values volunteers so much that monetary value is placed on their time. Their volunteer work may be more valuable to them than our regular work because money means nothing to them. They do it for many other reasons, but primarily to help other people or animals. Nevertheless, there are many side effects of volunteering that make it even more worthwhile. We volunteer because it makes a difference.

Lately, I have begun to utilize my skills which include proofreading, designing résumés and websites, and writing cover letters because I must admit that talent hits a target no one else can hit and genius hits a target no one else can see. For your information, I designed a website a couple of days ago, to bring psychiatry to the doorsteps of people and reduce stigmatization because the stigma is real. Check out https://www.onlinepsychiatrygh.com/ and be a member. Let us make interactive discussions which span a wide array of issues that pertain to our mental health. The latest being the anxiety we experience in the face of the atmosphere of COVID-19 and how best we cope with it.

Not to digress, I joined D.Y.K.B as a volunteer occupying the position of a Social Media Assistant. What this means is I would be bugging your statuses from time to time with website links to support the good cause of D.Y.K.B.  

D.Y.K.B seeks to support the youth population in a way that advances their ability to affect the communities they are in, and not just be baffled by overwhelming situations they encounter.  To grow together and share ideas, and then put them into action. Good cause! Isn’t it? How does it seek to achieve this? Empowering the youth by lifting them up and lending support in the areas they need.

Who doesn’t enjoy the feel of water dripping unto their skin from above, below the sky? Their Sustainable Habit Program includes the construction of multiple showers in rural areas of Ghana. This has been coined the Ghana Shower Project. This is a low cost building research trip in Ghana which commences actively in June 2021.

Notable among the projects, is a partnership with Adamah Veh Zerah, an NGO registered in Ghana. An organization poised to offer sustainable development solutions to villages and communities throughout Ghana. The organization’s strategies consist of the teaching and the application of renewable energy, renewable resources, natural building and holistic organic agriculture.

D.Y.K.B, in conjunction with Adamah Veh Zerah has started the Earth Bag Seed Bank at a village in a suburb of Cape Coast known as Ansapetu. Cape Coast is located in Ghana’s Central Region.

Cape Coast might be the former capital city, but when held up against Accra, it is the very picture of serenity. You will have to look elsewhere for your endless traffic jams. This is not to say it does not feel lived in, but the atmosphere is more redolent of a coastal community than a big, bad metropolis. Pastel-hued fishing boats fringe the beaches, groups of schoolkids trip along in the sunshine and dinky shops and houses create a through-the-ages architectural mishmash. Past the lagoons on the edge of town, meanwhile, are some of the most enticing swathes of beach in the country.

All of which makes it unsurprising that Cape Coast is such a tourist draw. The center is an appealing place in which to watch and wander – particularly down by the crescent-shaped harbor – but while there’s an intoxicating feel to the pace of life here, it also has a sharply sobering history.

I got to the premises of Ahmahtsiyahu Ben Yisrael, the Founder of Adamah Veh Zerah where I received one of the most receptive welcomes ever. Ben is a visionary who seeks to help the people of Ghana by being an exemplary leader and a strategist.

IMG_6583

 The Earth Bag Seed Bank

The name sounds amazing, doesn’t it? A project, near completion, encapsulates 10 inches of earth’s rough job. Jute bags have been used as a binding agent that holds down the walls of the bank, with a proportion of cement to sand and clay in the ratio of 20:80. Its floor has been casted with cement only.

The atmosphere in the bank is colder than its environment, with its source of electricity from a solar panel. This earth bag would be a storehouse to seeds which would be provided to farmers. To ensure continuity of this project, farmers would return a 10% of this seed which would be distributed further to another set of farmers, enhancing the law of multiplicity and promoting organic farming.

Adamah Veh Zerah, an NGO seeks to abort the consumption of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and encourage the dispatching of natural produce – right from the earth. A genetically modified organism contains DNA that has been altered using genetic engineering. Genetically modified animals are mainly used for research purposes, while genetically modified plants are common in today’s food supply.

Engineers design plants using genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, to be tougher, more nutritious, or taste better. However, people have concerns over their safety, and there is much debate about the pros and cons of using GMOs.

To avoid the usage of fertilizers, he employs the use of Composting circles. This is a trench dug in the form of a circle which serves as a temporary house to compost in different stages of composting. The compost comprises biodegradable material which include food waste such as banana clippings

The stunning fact is, plants structured at the corners of this circle grow healthier and faster than other plants, because they receive their nutrients from the biodegradation of the compost in the circle. As the compost gets darker, they are harvested with buckets to supply the whole of the farm. Ingenious! Isn’t it?

IMG_6556

This compost is used to plant crops like include ginger, passion fruit, turmeric and lettuce on the farm. These crops are held in wooden boxes held at the edges with bamboo pieces. The sight of pawpaw trees intersecting every region of the farm makes the farm a view to behold. Who just doesn’t love pawpaw?

The farm is powered by a 40 – feet hand dug well which initially powered sections of the house. It’s innovatory how Ghanaian men were creative in digging the well using a typical display of dexterity, team work and intelligence.

IMG_6565

To cap it off is the Up draft Passive Solar dehydrator.

What do you do with all this produce from the farm? Sell It? Gift Them Out? Consume Them? You would definitely want to preserve them for it to last for a very long time. This beautiful device uses the principle of pressure difference and convection to deliver heat using a solar collector installed in front of the device. This aims to preserve all kinds of food kept in it. This could be used in low resource settings in the absence of electricity. Portable ones are yet to be designed for market and commercial use. Fascinating right? I know!

The Earth Bag Seed Bank is a multi-stakeholder partnership that seeks to bring together data experts, civil society, youth organizations, academia and the private sector to ensure the youth of Ghanaians grow into strong young leaders that have the mindset to tackle any task at hand, talk a friend out of negligent choices, recognize an individual’s vision and be willing to support the vision with ideas for the greater good of Ghana as a whole. At the end of the day, greatness is determined by service.

Other projects started by D.Y.K.B include a Youth Debate Team  where about 15 to 30 young men and women, aged 13 -17 years, take on ground level issues within the community and develop future programs to help boost the capacity of the organization.

Volunteering has many benefits. We notice a subtle shift in ourselves when we volunteer. We feel more connected to others, and we become less absorbed in the normal stresses of daily life. We are able to share our experiences with others and want to help more.

Did you know that, when you volunteer, you are improving your life and maybe even your health? The benefits of volunteering are countless. There are social, emotional, physical, and professional perks. High school students volunteer to boost their college applications, and college students volunteer to improve their job search post-graduation.

Such programs benefit everyone.

Other generations, too, are finding that civic-mindedness has become an asset in the workplace. Related and non-related volunteer work on a résumé can often showcase your skills, as well as reveal openness to teamwork and a talent for innovation. Employers overwhelmingly look favorably on job applicants who have volunteered.

I encourage everyone to volunteer because wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don’t live in the world all of your own.

Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service… You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful weekend!

Eliezer