“A seven year old girl tentatively stepped off a turbulent flight with her fantasy of becoming an airhostess well and truly abandoned. Buzzing with excitement, she took her first steps onto British soil. Looking around her, Ghana; her home, seemed so far away.”
Who would have thought that, 13 years later, I am now in medical school and president of the newly established Meet Kate Foundation UK. In 2011, I returned to Ghana to volunteer for 4 months and meeting Myrthe and Kelly turned out to be one of the best things that happened to me. I was instantly drawn to them. It was evident that they saw past the poverty and deprivation, but saw the hope and potential that was palpable in the air. Their enthusiasm was infectious and that’s when I started to fall in love with Meet Kate. I love that we encourage self-reliance and start each project with the aim of removing foreign aid when possible because we trust in the local strength. When development is done right; it truly works long term and that’s exactly what I want the world to see!
Some people ask me, how I can study medicine and be president of a charity. Well, the answer is actually quite simple. “she inspires!” I look back at my time in Ghana and I think of those very special kids that I taught and the potential in each of them. Without realising it, they inspired me. If despite their circumstances they can face every day with smiles on their faces, surely in my own small way, I can do everything I can to make what was simply potential become a reality.
Kelly was still a student when she started the Meet Kate Foundation and Myrthe is now president of Meet Kate in Netherlands! I’m in great company. If they have taught me anything, it’s that age is but a number and if you have enough passion, anything is possible. I am extremely honoured and unbelievably excited to work with them. The possibilities of what we can achieve together are endless. Luckily, here in the UK, I am not on my own. I have a great team who are helping to make Meet Kate UK run smoothly. Meet them here.
And of course I look forward to keeping you, our lovely followers, up to date with our activities in the future.
Naa Akle Dromo Okantey