The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

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Senior starts non-profit to help impoverished areas of Ghana

Senior+Arielle+Chin+participated+in+a+menstrual+workshop+with+Amnesty+International+Ghana+this+summer%2C+which+led+to+her+forming+a+non-profit+to+help+Ghanaian+people+in+need.
Submitted Arielle Chin
Senior Arielle Chin participated in a menstrual workshop with Amnesty International Ghana this summer, which led to her forming a non-profit to help Ghanaian people in need.

A transformative trip to Ghana this summer exposed senior Arielle Chin to many problems people face around the world, and led her to start the non-profit organization Worth a Life Ghana to aid those in need.

Chin spent one month in Ghana’s capital, Accra, as well as the eastern region of the nation as a part of a global volunteer travel organization Projects Abroad, where she met and worked with high school students from all around the world on various projects to help the community.

Chin worked on medical and human rights projects where she did her part to aid those in need.

“The stuff that I did there would not be allowed in the U.S.,” Chin said. “I had to actually perform IV’s on people [in Ghana]. In America, you would have to be a doctor, a nurse, or have some sort of qualification like that.”

Chin worked with other students on her service trip to Ghana. (Submitted Arielle Chin)

According to Chin, the issues some Ghanaians experience can interfere with basic health. For example, many people don’t have access to plumbing and therefore were forced to defecate outdoors. Chin noted that many basic hygienic products are not available in the stores there as well.

“We actually did run into a problem where we didn’t have water for two or three days, which affected almost everything,” Chin said.

They were forced to take bucket showers and brush their teeth with bottled water. Chin and her peers were able to experience aspects of life that many people in Ghana meet every day.

Chin shared that movies and the internet often give poor representations of what to expect when traveling to a different country. She believes people should be more open-minded when considering visiting an underdeveloped country because it is not the experience one may expect.

“You can learn a lot of beautiful culture anywhere [you visit],” Chin said.

Chin returned to the States with a realization that helping those in need was something that she truly loved, especially helping people in Ghana.

“After I came back, I realized that this is my passion,” Chin said. “That this is what I want to do.”

After I came back, I realized that this is my passion. That this is what I want to do,

— Senior Arielle Chin

Chin recently decided to start Worth a Life Ghana after her trip. She started the organization by herself, but she has contacted other students that were a part of Project Abroad as well as some Ghanaians she had met there who she hopes will play a role in helping her organization down the road.

Her main focus at the moment is to bring in as many tangible donations as possible, which she plans to send to Ghana this summer. Items such as toothpaste, toilet paper, soap and other hygiene products are very helpful to the living conditions of many Ghanaians since they are not plentiful on the shelves of their stores.

“Our mission is to increase access to basic needs for people who are impoverished there,” Chin said. “Whether that’s water, food, healthcare, education [and] period products, too.”

The organization’s first major project is focusing on period poverty in Ghana. Many people suffer from pain, infections, and other major setbacks that come as a result of the lack of menstrual products in a given area. Chin noted that the rate of period poverty in Ghana is prominent which impacts the lives of those who menstruate, and she believes something needs to be done.

Chin says that the most rewarding part of it all is seeing the impact you can make on other people’s lives.

Chin participates in a conference with Amnesty International. (Submitted Arielle Chin)

“I talked to one of our mentors who graduated from the University of Ghana,” Chin said. “I reached out to ask if he could be one of our mentors, and he shared how compelled he felt that somebody from America actually cares about something that’s going on in such an underdeveloped country.”

Chin, who also started the ARHS Girl Up club, is actively putting up flyers around school as well as setting up an online drive to collect physical products to ship via Amazon. She has student connections in Japan, England, Italy, and a number of states across the country which she made through Project Abroad. They are in charge of gathering physical products in their own communities and high schools.

Chin has also organized an upcoming webinar which is open to the public where an orphanage and tech company from Ghana will speak and share information with all those who are looking to help.

Although Chin does not profit from any of her work, the organization cannot be officially established as a non-profit organization under the eyes of the law until it has been active for over a year. Chin claims this is only the beginning as she is eager to get more involved.

“We’re still small, but big things are going to be coming soon,” Chin said.

Editor’s Note: This article contains sources who are members of The Harbinger’s Editorial Board. Such members have been removed from this article’s editorial process in order to maintain fair and bias-free reporting.

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Michael Cashel
Michael Cashel, Staff Writer
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