It is my personal belief that our highest calling as spiritual beings of this world is love.
This is true no matter your religion, political opinion or past transgressions in life. The simplest summary of my spirituality is that we are called to love ourselves deeply, others as a reflection of ourselves and the world as an even greater and clearer reflection of us all. And that love will always find its way back to us.
“My journey and new connections in Ghana have showered me with love. The type that pushes me to understand myself and my purpose.”
This love is exactly what the Nneka Youth Foundation creates. The name means “Mother is Supreme” in Igbo, and its purpose draws from the greatest most guiding love that women manifest for their young. Through after school computer and creativity programs, scholarships, summer programs and vocational pathway programs throughout 11 districts and two regions of Ghana, Nneka is providing rural communities with a love so deep that it has touched more than 11,000 lives in more than 200 communities.
I feel blessed to have been able to organize an Afrocentric book drive for the Nneka Foundation’s community library and Christmas party this year. With just a small group of family and friends, enough money was raised to provide Nneka with more than 200 African-authored children’s books, and a small cash donation. When we dropped everything off, I was moved by the pure loving power of Mrs. Cecilia Fiaka (the founder of the nonprofit) and the work she is leading.
Over a delicious homemade lunch she had waiting for us, she told us about her challenges growing up in Ve Ageome, like having to walk to school without shoes. She told us about how she maintained her focus on school by valuing it as the path to freedom from poverty. This educational value and self-love in action is embedded into Nneka’s programs and events. The same love and value that I was honored to experience with Mrs. Fiaka and her entire team when we dropped the books off.
When I asked her about her vision for the foundation, she replied: “We don’t just host camps and leave. When Nneka enters a community, we’re there to stay and be the best neighbor and partner we can be. Without engaged teachers and supportive families, schools and camps are just structures.”
My journey and new connections in Ghana have showered me with love. The type that pushes me to understand myself and my purpose. The very same type that my love for reading has brought me, and that I want to bring to the world. It is only righteous that I spread this love (my wings) by committing what I can to amazing organizations like the Nneka Foundation. And if you’ve read this far, it is only righteous that I call upon the spirit inside you to commit too.
You can donate financially to the Nneka foundation. But you can also spread love in other ways — like sharing this message online, starting a book drive yourself or offering your skills and connections to Mrs. Cecilia. Please reach out to me at C.firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
If there’s something inside your heart that you feel could benefit others, I hope you feel moved to share it. And I hope you can see how what benefits the world also benefits your soul.
Chasejamison Akilah Manar Spears is studying sociology, cultural proficiency and leadership. She is studying at the University of Ghana in Accra, Ghana for the entire academic year.