Taking the First Step: When the floor is hot, nobody will tell the feet

By Sefakor Komabu Pomeyie, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2013, SIT Graduate Institute 2013

When I was named an Advancing Leaders Fellow, I started wondering what the first step for this long journey would be. It was easy to identify the obstacles to building accessible schools for children with disabilities in Ghana, but where to begin was less obvious. Soon, I began the online trainings with World Learning. When the issue of registering our projects or organizations came up, I was not sure if that was something I wanted to do. I took a step backwards and sighed with the question: Please, do we need to go that extra mile?

The answer was yes. Registering as an organization will increase recognition for the Accessible Schools Ghana campaign and lay the groundwork for fundraising for this and future projects.

Eh! Sefakor, what have you done to yourself? Can you carry this load alone?

Indeed, I was in a dilemma, but then remembered: Where determination exists, failure cannot dismantle the reign of success.

In my language, there is a saying: Ne anyigba xor dzo koa, aforvia nuto anya. Literally this means “when the floor is hot, nobody will tell the feet,” but translates best as “sometimes you have to take a chance and jump right in.” And so the NGO Enlightening and Empowering People with Disabilities was born. This first step – this first accomplishment – gives me great joy. I’m so grateful to my family and everybody around me – especially my mentor and his family in the United States – who helped make this possible.

I am now well-equipped to move the organization forward with like-minded individuals to make accessible schools in Ghana a reality. I’ve already had the opportunity to meet with the Center for Employment of Persons with Disabilities and the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition to complement their marvelous work with disability issues in education.

I’m very excited about the potential for collaboration. These are great organizations and I see education as the key to success. I’m positive that our work will have a ripple effect around the globe and that together we can make a greater impact. Please join us as we prepare our next steps.

Join the Advancing Leaders Fellows in making a difference by donating to the Fellowship program. Your support changes the lives of our alumni and the communities they serve. And be sure to follow Sefakor on Twitter and on this blog as she develops her project in the coming months.

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