LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s the trip of a lifetime for many students at Lockport High School, traveling all the way from Buffalo to the island village of Ada Ghana. The island is not equipped with safe water to drink so a group of 23 teachers and students went there to try and change that. It was not only a mission of service, but an opportunity to learn.
“In order for us to find ourselves, we must lose ourselves in service to others.”
It’s a quote from Mahatma Ghandi, that couldn’t be truer for Ana Barret, a teacher at Lockport High School and native of Ghana. She uses the saying to inspire herself and others around her to help out the community in Ghana that means so much to her. Barrett told News 4, “It takes me way back as a little girl as well as walking those miles and looking to fetch water for my family and being able to provide this water well for this family, it’s just incredible.”
The well that a local company, along with the group traveling from Lockport, built will bring water to not only one family. It will service the 300 people who inhabit the island.
Julie Tette, another teacher at Lockport High School that went on the trip told News 4, “It’s located near the school on the small island and the entire community will have access to the fresh water.”
If locals were to drink the untreated water there, they would be facing the risk of contracting a deadly disease. The group this year unfortunately experienced that sadness. One of the little boys they were able to meet last year on the trip who was just 4 years old, passed away. Barrett told News 4, “4 years old, had energy, and he passed away by the time we got back because he contracted malaria and his mom was unable to afford to take him to the hospital. So these needs are very real.”
That severity of the situation certainly put into perspective the life we are so fortunate to live here in the United States.
Students at the high school including Eugene Siegrisc, Jaqlyn Leiser, and Erin Fischer said these statements to News 4.
“I am more respectful I feel like. I matured a little bit because of going on this trip and seeing how the world is on the other side.”
“I think this time around I definitely became more appreciative of things when I got back.”
It’s hard to put in terms material items that you love so much when you see people in Ghana who don’t have them and are so happy.”
Next year the group plans to go back to Ghana. In addition to continuing to providing clean water to the island they are going to build another necessity that we take for granted. That’s a latrine. If you would like to donate your time, school supplies, or a monetary gift for the trip in 2019, click here.