Last night, I attended a reception hosted by the High Commissioner of Canada to Ghana. The occasion: the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau was in Ghana for the first time. The purpose of her trip was to witness first-hand the relationship between Canada and Ghana and the significant impact of Canada’s international assistance efforts in Ghana.

The reception itself didn’t last too long. The High Commissioner Heather Cameron introduced Minister Bibeau who then went on to give a less than 10-minute speech on her experience thus far and her thoughts on the work going on in Ghana.

Now we know that WUSC is an organization that aims to improve education, employment, and empowerment opportunities for youth, women, and refugees. More specifically, Uniterra is a program that supports “the economic empowerment of marginalized youth and women through the exchange of skills and expertise”. So it was great to hear Minister Bibeau not only speak on the importance of women through Canada’s international feminist policy but also on the impact young people like myself can make through mandates like the one I’m currently completing.

Now that I think about it, the crowd was quite diverse. Not only racially but also gender and age wise. I can confidently say 60% of the group was made of women and I was probably the youngest person there.

As nice as it was to reflect on all the great research and volunteer efforts going on in Ghana, it was just as, if not more important to look at what is yet to be done. Yes, international development work isn’t the perfect solution to third world problems nor may volunteers ever be enough, but based on the discussions I overheard throughout the night, I believe there’s great hope. Why? Because people are genuinely interested. People truly care about results. Most importantly, they see there is still work to be done.

Ghana is home to me. So it fills me with joy that there are others that care about this country as much as I do which is easy to forget. Sometimes, it takes events like the one hosted last night to remind like-minded people about the ultimate goal.