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Plainview Student Spends Summer Volunteering in Africa

Lacey Reimer, who is entering her junior year at Plainview-Old Bethpage High next month, spent her summer vacation volunteering in Ghana through a program called Cross Cultural Solutions.

Even before she left, Reimer was preparing for her trip. She spent a great deal of time receiving inoculations for yellow fever, typhoid, malaria, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B, studying the Ewe language, and learning about the culture and customs of the people of Ghana, before flying to Ghana as a volunteer.

Reimer and her fellow volunteers went to a school for the deaf, to a local orphanage, and the Jasikan Hospital, located in Ghana’s Hohoe District of the Votta Region. While there, she participated in renovating and painting the hospital, and playing in a cross-cultural soccer match.

Reimer was surprised by the conditions at the hospital that she visited. “There was mold on walls, and the paint chipping,” she said. “We sanded and scraped the walls and painted them to make it safer, healthier and more attractive for everyone there.”

After visiting the orphanages, Reimer realized the impact that her volunteer service had on the children she met. “Kids were sleeping on triple bunk beds, some with no sheets, with not much for them to do but play in an open field,” she said. “We played with the kids and showed them love. It made such a strong impact on them. They were really happy while we were around.”

Reimer described her two-week experience as “eye-opening and memorable.”

Reimer, who plans to continue volunteering and recommends others do it as well, said she would like to major in either international relations or history in college.

Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1995. Each year, over 4,000 people participate in volunteer programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. CCS has a worldwide staff of over 300 people in 12 countries, with administrative offices also located in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Visit www.crossculturalsolutions.org for more information.