Sarah Kovacs puts life on hold to teach children of Ghana

I am slowly completing interviews with Sarah Kovacs, a member of York First Church of the Brethren.

I say slowly because Sarah is in Ghana teaching elementary school to poor village children. When I first heard what she is doing, voluntarily spending a year in the African country, I was impressed. The fact that she is doing it for a second year is incredible.

A group of Taha village children pose for a picture with Sarah Kovacs. (Submitted by Sarah Kovacs)

When we began exchanging emails and I read about her progress here, I really came to admire Sarah’s commitment to giving these children a chance to have a better life.

Because they really have it hard. The children of Ghana have about a 50 percent chance to make it to young adulthood. Sarah describes how they make use and reuse of everything, wearing shirts and shoes until the material is destroyed.

Sarah said she has learned as much from her students and they from her.

“Above all, I learned that no matter how little you have you make due, remain thankful, and don’t grumble about what you don’t have!” she said via email. “My kids would play for hours in nothing but dirt and love it! This year my students spend hours and hours playing with old tin cans, water, and dirt. And they genuinely have a good time!”

I don’t want to give too much of Sarah’s story away because it will be in a future issue of the paper. To fill in the background, Sarah graduated Messiah College with an elementary education degree in May 2011. She had visited Ghana for about three weeks during her final year and immediately felt at home there.

After graduating, Sarah spent the summer fundraising and her church supported her as well. She spent 2011-12 in Ghana, teaching children in a little southeastern village called Akoefe Avenui.

Upon returning, she repeated the summer routine of working multiple jobs, bake sales, yard sales, luncheons, making bracelets, babysitting, yard work — whatever she could do to raise money.

This year, Sarah is living in the north of Ghana, teaching in a village called Taha.

Look for her story soon.

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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