• Sweden's news in English
Swede launches charity to help kids in Ghana
Camilla in Ghana. Photo: Private

Swede launches charity to help kids in Ghana

The Local · 11 Aug 2014, 09:36

Published: 11 Aug 2014 09:36 GMT+02:00

After a volunteer trip to Ghana last year, Camilla Gustafsson fell in love with the west African country. Now, she is dedicating her life to helping kids in the local village of Karimenga, northern Ghana, into getting the chances she thinks they deserve.
"Ghana is like a second home to me," she tells The Local. 
"To be honest, it’s not so much the country, but the people that I fell in love with. Ghana has so much potential to grow and change, and I find myself living and working with heroes every day."
Indeed, the love affair prompted the Swede to create a whole charity - the Free Project - which has seen her go back once already, with another trip planned this month. 
While there, Gustafsson is mainly focusing on helping the orphans. She has built houses, installed solar electricity, made the orphanage into a legal organization and provided smaller everyday needs such as food, healthcare, school uniforms and textbooks. On the second trip earlier this year, she built The Free Project Junior High School. 
Now, she's raising money to do more of the same, this time planning to drill a borehole in the village for clean drinking water, and to launch a self-sustainable project so the locals can stand on their own two feet. 
But the road to starting a charity organization has been paved with potholes for Gustafsson.
"Starting the organization as a twenty-two-year old with no education and no experience meant I was met with a lot of challenges," she says. "I had trouble being taken seriously, even. But with a lot of hard work, I've managed to prove to myself and everybody else that I am a serious business woman." It proves we are able to to more than we think if we just believe in our cause and work hard.
But why does a Stockholm woman care so much about people on the other side of the world?
Story continues below…
"So many times people ask me why I care so much or why I do this. I like to turn the question around – how can you not care or do anything about it?" she explains.
"I've been there and seen how unfair life can be. Me, I don’t need expensive bags or fancy clothes if I know that the money could put a smile on somebody's face, give a child the possibility to go to school or give a village clean water. To me that is worth more than a million dollars."


For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sweden to sizzle in the sun for a few more days
The beach at Båstad on Saturday. Photo: TT

The heatwave that hit most of Sweden last week is set to continue until Wednesday at least, according to Swedish weather forecaster, SMHI.

Swedish ex-prime minister Thorbjorn Fälldin dead at 90
Fälldin in 1981. Photo: TT/FLT-PICA

Thorbjorn Fälldin, the former farmer who became prime minister in Sweden's first non-Social Democratic government since World War II, has died at the age of 90.

Swedish police fear serial rapist on loose in Malmö
The attacker is thought to be in his mid-twenties and had been seen riding his bike in the area prior to the incident. Photo:TT

The rape of a 14-year-old girl in Malmö has led police to conjecture that there may be a serial rapist operating in the southern Swedish city.

Stockholm Pokémon hunter impaled on metal fence spike
Another Swede playing Pokémon Go in Stockholm. Photo: Izabelle Nordfjell/TT

He tried to climb a fence to find more Pokémon.

When Alicia Vikander taught us to put our pen in the bottle
Swedish actress Alicia Vikander and US talkshow host Jimmy Fallon. Photo: Tonight Show/NBC/Screenshot

We're not even sure if that's a euphemism or not.

Muslim man fired for not shaking women's hands
File photo of people shaking hands. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

A man is suing a local council in Sweden after he lost his job for refusing to shake hands with female colleagues.

Swedish bus driver who hit asylum seeker: 'I'm not racist'
The story has grabbed global headlines. Photo: Nobina

A Swedish bus driver caught on camera beating and kicking an asylum seeker has for the first time spoken to media.

Stay out, the water's filthy! Germs ruin Swedes' swims
Seagulls only.

Fancy a dip? If so, you might want to keep your mouth shut.

Man kicked off flight from Sweden over 'Isis tattoo'
A Norwegian plane at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A flight from Stockholm was delayed on Thursday after it was claimed that one of the passengers had an Isis flag tattooed on his arm.

In pictures: Are Swedes falling in love with colour at last?
What happened to the Swedish greyscale? Photo: Linda Åhman

Antonia Wiklund of Houzz.se investigates why the Swedes are abandoning their sleek and clean interior design for vibrant colours.

Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Blog updates

14 July

Boris Johnson: why Britain’s new foreign minister is cordially loathed (Globally Local) »

"There are lots of things to say about Boris Johnson, Britain’s new foreign secretary. He is…" READ »


11 July

Swedish quizzes (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I have created some quizzes you can take online to test your Swedish skills. Here…" READ »

Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
People-watching: July 15th-17th
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Terror attack: what should you do?
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
People-watching: July 13th
Swedes discover surprise mountain
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
Property of the week: Smedjebacken, Dalarna
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
WATCH: A very Swedish take on Brexit...
Swede's fury at Daily Mail's Bråvalla 'lies'
People-watching: July 8th-10th
Sweden and Denmark trolled each other on Twitter and it's hilarious
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
ANALYSIS: Why Swedes are talking more about immigration than before
Watch Icelanders cheer their Swedish hero coach
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
jobs available