Eric Coco Mawuenyegah, known as Coco, is a board member of KickStart Ghana in Ghana. He has been working with the charity since 2009 and we spoke to him about what he does and what he feels he gets from the role. If you’re interested in volunteering with KickStart Ghana in either the UK or Ghana check out our recruitment pages.
Coco, tell us a bit about your background and where you’re from.
My parents are both from different places – my mum is from Togo and my dad is from Ghana. I was brought up in Togo where I went to school for 20 years before coming to Ghana in 2009. I decided to come to Ghana because education in Togo at tertiary level is so bad that it doesn’t give you many chances of success or a good future. I needed to try something else and I had a chance because my dad is from Ghana and I have family here. I didn’t know why I should be wasting my time when I knew there was a better chance for me somewhere else, so I decided to come here and try something new.
Rianna volunteered with KickStart Ghana in the summer of 2013. We spoke to her about her experiences of living and working in Ghana and the highlights of her trip.
I chose to volunteer with KickStart Ghana because having enjoyed volunteering in my local community I was looking for a summer project overseas to take part in after I graduated from university. Initially, I came across a number of the ‘voluntourism’ companies until I was told about the great work being done by KickStart Ghana. It was clear that they were passionate about responsible and sustainable projects. The application process was simple to follow and ensured that the education project was relevant for my experience. They were always happy to answer any questions I had, no matter how silly them seemed, and ensured that I was prepared for the project before I arrived. I would definitely recommend volunteering with KSG!
When volunteering I really enjoyed meeting the people who lived within the local community. Arriving as an individual volunteer I was slightly nervous about how I’d fit it, however, everyone I met was so friendly and welcoming! The summer school started in my second week and I appreciated the independence we were given as volunteers. Whilst the education projects had guidelines to follow, it was completely our decision what format the lesson would take and the topics that would be covered. Personalising the lessons in this way made the project more rewarding but also achieved KickStart Ghana’s summer school aims.
My favourite thing about living in Ghana was the KickStart Ghana House!! As someone who is always rushing around at home, I really loved settling into the laid-back Ghanaian way of life. There was always someone around to speak to in the house, or in the local houses, and the area really felt like home for the short time I was there. Vivian’s amazing cooking was also something to look forward to every day!