Robert Ingersoll once said, “we rise by lifting others”. Nowadays, it seems we are too busy caring about our own lives, businesses and families. We really don’t have enough room to care about the wellbeing of other people. I can only hope that the story you are about to read is able to teach you a little more about selflessness, like it has taught me.

Whenever I find people who have great passion to strive to improve or make change in their society through their efforts and initiatives, I can’t help but tell their stories to inspire and impact my readers.

Meet Reuben Griffiths Bekoe a selfless, benevolent and high-spirited volunteer who biked for change.

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Reuben Griffiths Bekoe, a 19-year-old passionate Senior High School  graduate took the risk to ride a bicycle on a tour across Ghana from 10th August 2015- 19th December 2015 in order to raise funds for the Ghana Cleft foundation to help children with cleft. Cleft lip and Cleft Palate are facial and oral malformations where there is either a physical split in the skin of the upper lip or an opening in the roof of the mouth as seen in the picture on the left.

Children with such deformities in Ghana are neglected and not cared for and this moved him to hop on a bicycle to ride across Ghana whiles raising funds for surgery for such children. He could have just ridden across the country just to be the first man to do that in Ghana, but the passion to help children with Cleft drove him to take such huge risk and endure so much discomfort.

Riding through towns and villages in the various regions, he made stops to interact with people. Through the interactions, he created awareness and educated these people on Cleft whiles raising funds at the same time.

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He started his ride from Takoradi to Agona to Tarkwa and back to Takoradi. He then continued to Cape Coast and came to Accra. From Accra, he rode to Ho and through towns like Jasikan, Kejebi, Nkwanta. He continued to Paga, Damako, Bimbilla, Yendi, Tamale, Bolgatanga, Navrongo, Tumu, Wa, Wenchi, Sunyani, Kumasi, Koforidua and then came back to Accra.

 

Riding on the same roads as tanker trucks, articulated lorries and other huge vehicles as some of the roads had no demarcations for cyclists was such a huge challenge.  Getting hydrated due to the lack of enough water as there were mostly no network connections to know how far the next town was. access to food and sleeping spaces and also getting people to really understand what his journey was all about were also some challenges he encountered.

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Through all these challenges, however, he met very nice, hospitable and welcoming Ghanaians in the various regions. Meeting Ato Ulzen-Appiah, an awesome young man who connected him to many others across the country to host him for free and other notable people such as Ministers and Chiefs who helped him in various ways too.

He made his last stop at the University of Ghana where the Ghana Think Foundation was hosting Barcamp Accra. There, the Ghana Museum came for the bicycle he rode on to be placed in the Museum to serve as a reminder of this great initiative to generations to come! How awesome!

Reuben was able to raise an amount of GH2500 physically and also had people donating right into the Ghana Cleft Foundation account.

reuben rides

Reuben is awesomely inspiring. He was recently listed as one of the 10 young changemakers of Ghana in 2015. He identified a problem and took an initiative to contribute to help improve upon the situation and help solve it at large.

Asking what’s next on his goals after this achievement, he said “What next for me is to get my 1st degree as I am a high school graduate,  but if I don’t get the money for school, I am going to take an epic drive across Africa to share the Africa story and promote peace.”

Navrongo – Tumu When smiles needs to be restored; the passion keeps you going! Proud to be the 1st person to ride across Ghana!Thanks for the LOVE.

Posted by Reuben Griffiths Bekoe on Sunday, 20 December 2015

Many years down the lane, Reuben would be remembered for this awesome initiative.

Reuben through biking has paid his dues to society. What are you willing to do or what initiatives are you involved in that would make your society better?  Do you have a similar experience or have a story around Cleft? Don’t hesitate to share in the comments!

Do you have a question for or want to get connected to Reuben? Find his contacts below.

Facebook – Reuben Griffiths Bekoe

Blog –  blog

Interview on TV3Never get tired of doing little things for others.. Because sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of somebody’s heart. I am very honoured to be among of Kofi Yeboah’s 10 young change makers in Ghana (2015).http://kofiyeboah.com/10-young-changemakers-in-ghana-making-ghana-better/

Posted by Reuben Griffiths Bekoe on Monday, 4 January 2016

 

Mabel is a blogger, freelance writer, and a student journalist. Inside of her is a burning passion for writing. She started writing in her first year in high school where she published two stories in “The Mirror”, a Ghanaian weekly newspaper. She wrote several articles for the “Echoes of OLA” her high school yearly magazine.