The Cross Continental Experience Blog by Clayton Richardson, CCMPH Student
Pictured Above: Nyu Students: ZakKwani Zulualabiade, Latitia Kabasele, Kaylah Grant, Alana Zimmer, Melissa Monroe, Alyssa Penizotto, Ariana Traub and Clayton Richardson. With NYU Accra staff: Gifty Affreh and the staff of The Shekhinah Clinic
August 22, 2018
This past week was a time of reflection for the students in NYU’s public health program. We traveled to Tamale, in the northern part of Ghana. While there we visited The Shekhinah Clinic for the Poor and Destitute. The clinic provides medical care, shelter and food for all of its patients free of charge. The poorest of the poor, the severely handicapped and the mentally incapacitated, from all regions of sub-Saharan Africa make the journey here for treatment, a place to stay, and a hot meal. We were briefed on the nature of the clinic and honestly were prepared for the worst. Upon arrival we were in awe, no amount of preparation could have readied us for what we saw. Dozens of happy faces, children laughing and playing, the mentally ill rejoicing in finding acceptance, a community formed of would be misfits. These people, who literally do not have a single penny to their name, were so full of love and joy, far happier that many of people I know back in the states. I lay there that night under a mosquito net, without air conditioning or hot water and many of the other comforts of home, my mind riddled by what I had just saw. Far too often do we associate happiness with status or material belongings; but these individuals they found happiness in the care and love that were receiving, and the ability they had to give that care and love so selflessly to the other members of their makeshift family. My colleagues and I learned something from these people that we could have never been taught in a lecture hall.
For more information on The Shekhinah Clinic please watch the documentary “Under the Mango Tree” by NYU film student Katrina Moore. The link can be found here- https://vimeo.com/127830989.