My internship at the First Step Foundation in Ghana

“In my six months at the First Step Foundation in Ghana, I experienced, that with the right guidance and a few means, we can enable people to change their lives.” A report from Jana Schmidt.

First Step Foundation in Ghana: Ein Gruppenfoto von Assistentin Theresa (links), Direktor Lawrence (mitte) und Praktikantin Jana (rechts)

That was us, the team of the First Step Foundation the past six months: Theresa, left, director Lawrence in the middle, and me, on the right.

I’ve been back in Germany for more than a month now, but I still often think of Offinso and the First Step Foundation. I learned a lot in the past six months, that I was allowed to work there – for my studies but also for life in general.

It always impressed me to see how the women managed to create a business and change something in their life with just this small business credit. The most wonderful moments for me were, when I realized that we, the First Step Foundation, were actually able to help the women out of poverty. Many of them are now self-employed, can take care of their children and send them to school. This was not always possible before.

Most women quickly build up confidence towards the First Step Foundation. This is mainly due to the work and personality of director Lawrence and his team. Lawrence treats all women equally, no matter who they are or where they come from. He always is very open with them and treats them without judgement. He never forces the women into a business, that they don’t want to. Instead, he listens and advices them if they want to. The First Step Foundation has recently introduced a series of workshops, to help the borrowers learn more about building reserves and how to properly manage their income and expenses.

The concept of the First Step Foundation is sustainable, fair and successful. The NGO gives women a perspective for a better life and creates a bit more social justice. It was enriching and rewarding to have worked for such an incredible Organization. 

I experienced that we can really make a difference and help people change their lives – with just a few means and the right guidance. I will gladly continue to follow and support the work of the First Step Foundation. 

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